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Why Eric is not sitting Idle at the age of 80: Monty Python almost sent me broke

Monty Python comedy star Eric Idle says he has continued to work at the age of 80 for financial reasons.

 

Feb 12, 2024, updated Feb 12, 2024
epa10391789 Eric Idle poses at the 2023 Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Night Gala at the Palm Springs Convention Center in Palm Springs, California, USA, 05 January 2023 (issued 06 January 2023). The Palm Springs International Film Festival awards actors in eleven categories.  EPA/NINA PROMMER

epa10391789 Eric Idle poses at the 2023 Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Night Gala at the Palm Springs Convention Center in Palm Springs, California, USA, 05 January 2023 (issued 06 January 2023). The Palm Springs International Film Festival awards actors in eleven categories. EPA/NINA PROMMER

The British comedian and actor, known as Sir Robin the-not-quite-so-brave-as-Sir-Lancelot in Monty Python And The Holy Grail, said he sold his home last year.

In an series of posts on X, formerly Twitter, Idle said: “I don’t know why people always assume we’re loaded. Python is a disaster.

“Spamalot made money 20 years ago. I have to work for my living. Not easy at this age.”

Idle created the medieval musical Spamalot, which earned a best musical Tony after being on Broadway. He also appeared in Shrek The Third and in 2014 in Monty Python Live (Mostly) alongside some of the comedy troupe.

Based for much of the last decades in Los Angeles, Idle also thanked his followers for the “kind words and encouragement”.

“It means a great deal to me,” Idle said.

He also seemed surprised by the downturn in their fortunes following the success of Monty Python.

“We own everything we ever made in Python and I never dreamed that at this age the income streams would tail off so disastrously,” Idle wrote.

When asked if a Netflix documentary could help, he said “f*** documentaries” and the streaming giant.

“I’m fine. I’m engaged and writing. It’s the thing I do and like the most. Creating a new show. Something that feels so completely normal. Been doing it since 1963. I have learned a lot. But then I had some great mentors,” he said.

In September 2022 Idle said he said he survived pancreatic cancer after receiving a rare early diagnosis, and appeared on celebrity singing show The Masked Singer in the US.

Alongside Graham Chapman, Fawlty Towers star John Cleese, Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas director Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones and Michael Palin, Idle founded the comedy troupe in 1969.

Chapman died in 1989 of tonsil cancer aged 48 and Jones died in 2020 aged 77 from a rare form of dementia.

In 2013, a producer of the 1975 film Monty Python And The Holy Grail won a High Court royalty fight with the comedy team to get some of the Spamalot profits.

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