Python stars to announce stage show

Preston and Leyland Citizen: A spokesman for the Pythons remained tight-lipped on what form the reunion would take A spokesman for the Pythons remained tight-lipped on what form the reunion would take

Comedy veterans Monty Python are set to reunite for a stage show.

Surviving members John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin are expected to announce the production, following months of secret talks, at a press conference on Thursday.

Jones told the BBC: "We're getting together and putting on a show - it's real.

"I'm quite excited about it. I hope it makes us a lot of money. I hope to be able to pay off my mortgage!"

Meanwhile, Idle tweeted: "Only three days to go till the Python press conference. Make sure Python fans are alerted to the big forthcoming news event."

He added: "Python meeting this morning. Can't wait."

The famous comedy group will make their announcement at the Playhouse Theatre, the London venue where Monty Python musical Spamalot is running.

Groundbreaking show Monty Python's Flying Circus, famous for its Dead Parrot sketch and for breaking the rules on traditional sketch writing , was made for TV between 1969 and 1974 and drew fans around the world.

The Pythons went on to make comedy feature films including Monty Python And The Holy Grail (1975) and the controversial Monty Python's Life of Brian (1979), the story of a man who was mistaken for Jesus .

The controversial movie was attacked as blasphemous by religious groups but despite being banned by some councils it was a huge box office success in the US and UK and went on to be named the "greatest comedy film of all time".

Their final film, Monty Python's The Meaning Of Life, released in 1983, was the last time the six Pythons worked together on a full-time project and won the jury prize at the Cannes film festival.

Sixth Python Graham Chapman died of cancer in 1989 aged just 48.

The five remaining members of the comedy group appeared together in 1998 at the Aspen Comedy Festival in the US.

In 2006, Idle, Gilliam, Jones and Palin attended the London opening of Spamalot - Cleese was filming in Australia - after the show first opened in Broadway.

Following the success of Monty Python, the comedy group have enjoyed success in their own careers.

Cleese showed off his comic talent and co-wrote hit series Fawlty Towers as well as co-writing and starring in A Fish Called Wanda, which also featured Palin.

US-born Python Gilliam, who also provided the animation for the group's screen hits, directed films including The Brothers Grimm, Twelve Monkeys, Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas and Jabberwocky, featuring Palin.

Palin became known for his travel documentary series and Idle penned the Spamalot musical.

Jones directed Idle, Palin and Cleese in a 1996 film adaptation of The Wind In The Willows.

Earlier this year, film producer Mark Forstater, who claimed a share of profits from Spamalot, won a High Court royalty fight with the Monty Python comedy team.

A spokesman for the Pythons remained tight-lipped about the announcement, saying: "A press conference is set for Thursday where the Pythons themselves will be unveiling their plans to work together again."

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