Eric Idle, 80, exposes Monty Python money rift and says he’s now forced to ‘work for a living’ despite his major TV success
Eric Idle has revealed there is a split in the Monty Python cast and admitted the show was a financial ‘disaster’.
The comedian, 80, is the co-creator of the iconic show, and has starred in its several spin-off films, including Life of Brian and The Meaning of Life.
Monty Python was a British comedy group formed in 1969, consisting of Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, Michael Palin and Eric.
And now Eric has explained he is struggling financially and has been forced to sell his house and continue working well past retirement age.
He took aim at Holly Gilliam, the TV lawyer daughter of fellow Python Terry Gilliam, on social media.
Eric Idle has revealed there is a split in the Monty Python cast and admitted the show was a financial ‘disaster’
The comedian, 80, is the co-creator of the iconic show, and has starred in its various spin-off films including Life of Brian and The Meaning of Life
She took over the Python brand in 2013 as part of HDG Projects Ltd, and iIn a new tweet, Eric wrote: ‘I don’t know why people always assume we’re loaded.
‘I have to work for my living. I never dreamed that the income streams would decline so disastrously at this age. I have been working and earning for Pythons since 1995. And now not anymore.’
In a search for Holly, he continued: ‘I guess if you put a Gilliam kid in as your manager, you shouldn’t be that surprised. One Gilliam is bad enough. Two can take out any company.’
Eric’s daughter Lily publicly stood by her father by writing on X: ‘I’m so proud of my dad for finally finally starting to share the truth.
“He has always stood up to bullies and narcissists and absolutely deserves reassurance and validation for doing so.”
The group rose to prominence for the sketch comedy series Monty Python’s Flying Circus, which aired on the BBC from 1969 to 1974.
Last year, Eric denied any involvement in an upcoming stage production of Monty Python’s Life Of Brian.
He denied reports that he was working with John Cleese to remake the 1979 comedy.
Idle distanced himself from the project after sharing a tweet from the British Comedy Guide which read: ‘The stage show version of Monty Python’s Life Of Brian will launch in London in 2024, John Cleese has confirmed. He and Idle have made changes – for example there will be no crucifixion scene.’
Eric explained that he was struggling financially and was forced to sell his house and continue working well past retirement age
He took aim at Holly Gilliam, the TV lawyer daughter of fellow Python Terry Gilliam, on social media
Eric’s daughter Lily has publicly stood by her father by writing on X: ‘I’m so proud of my dad for finally sharing the truth’
He replied: ‘I have absolutely nothing to do with this production or arrangement. Apparently Cleese cut the song. Natural.’
Idle was referring to his song Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life playing during the crucifixion.
The famous scene was reportedly cut from the upcoming production.
Fans were quick to ask if the relationship between Idle and Cleese had soured. In response to one person, Idle simply tweeted: ‘I haven’t seen John since the last day of our US tour in New Orleans 2016.’
Another tweet read: ‘I have no problems with the Pythons. I think they are stupid in business, but I have my say and walk away. What can I do besides that? Give me a chance.’
Last week it was reported that Cleese and Idle, who recently overcame pancreatic cancer, were drawing up new scenes and plot lines for a blockbuster show.
Cleese, 83, who is working on the project with veteran stage director Caroline Ranger, said: ‘I think Life Of Brian is our best film.
“We’re going to do it in the second half of next year in London and I’ve changed some things.”
He told an audience at his one-man show that he had to cut a scene in which a male character reveals they want to be known as ‘Loretta’.
Recalling a read-through, he said: ‘At the end I said to the American actors, ‘What do you think?’ And they said, ‘We love the script, but you can’t do that stuff about Loretta these days’.
“So here you have something that I’ve never complained about in 40 years that I’ve heard of, and now suddenly we can’t do it because it will offend people.
‘What is one supposed to make of it? But I think there were a lot of things that were actually, in some strange way, predictive of what was actually going to happen later.’
Monty Python was a British comedy group formed in 1969, consisting of Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, Michael Palin and Eric
Cleese, who joined GB News, has spoken out against ‘cancellation culture’ in recent years – a contrast to Idle who revealed he struggles to be ‘sympathetic’ to those who complain when their jokes are not well received.
“You shouldn’t whine about the audience,” he told the On With Kara Swisher podcast in November. ‘There is nothing wrong with the audience. If they don’t laugh at your jokes, there is something wrong with your joke.
“And so… I’m not terribly sympathetic to that kind of attitude, to be honest.”
Life Of Brian was written by Monty Python comedy troupe founding members Cleese, Idle, Graham Chapman, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones and Michael Palin.
It was banned in some areas for blasphemy and faced accusations of mocking Jesus.
Idle previously produced the Tony Award-winning musical Spamalot! based on the 1975 film Monty Python And The Holy Grail.