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Monty Python to re-form for six-part US series

LONDON – British comedy legends Monty Python are set to reunite for a six-part series to be screened in the US next year, which could then air on the BBC.

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All five surviving comedians -- John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam, Michael Palin and Terry Jones -- will regroup for 'Monty Python's Personal Best' for PBS in the US next year.

Each of the madcap troupe will pen their own special episode and the final installment will be a collaboration from all five.

Using a mix of original Pythonesque material and new clips, the series will pay homage to late Python star Graham Chapman, who died of cancer in 1989.

"They have all chosen their favourite bits from old Python films and the television series and linked them together in their own crazy way," a PBS spokesman said.


The episodes are being filmed at various locations, with Palin chosing to do his in Teddington Lock in London and Idle choosing the Hollywood Bowl in California.

The series has not yet been offered to UK broadcasters, but it is expected to gauge a huge amount of interest.

A BBC spokesman said: "This sounds like a really interesting project and something we would definitely like to hear more about."  

'Monty Python's Flying Circus' was first broadcast on the BBC in 1969 and was sold to public service TV in the US in the 1970s, where it went on to become a massive hit.

There has already been something of a revival with Eric Idle's Broadway musical, 'Spamalot', which is based on the movie 'Monty Python and the Holy Grail', wowing audiences and critics in New York, helping it to win three Tonys last month.

John Wilson, senior VP and co-chief programming executive at PBS, added: "PBS jumped at the chance to be the exclusive home to six new Monty Python specials.

"American audiences first discovered the Pythons' 'upper class twits, the Lumberjack Song and Dead Parrot' on public television and we're looking forward to introducing more persistently silly antics from these beloved characters."                                              

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