Michael Palin to produce Radio 4 specials for Monty Python birthday

Image caption

The Python team – Jones, Chapman, Cleese, Idle, Gilliam and Palin – in 1970

Sir Michael Palin is to serve as the executive producer on five new Radio 4 specials to mark the 50th anniversary of the Monty Python comedy troupe.

The shows, to air in September, will feature “never-before-released material from the Monty Python sound archives”.

The 50th anniversary of Monty Python’s Flying Circus first airing on BBC One will be marked as well by a month-long season at BFI Southbank in London.

The 5 October anniversary will also be marked by a world record attempt.

Organisers are hoping to encourage the largest gathering of people dressed as Gumbys – the spectacle-wearing, knotted handkerchief-sporting imbeciles who became part of Python lore.

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Getty Images

Image caption

Terry Gilliam dressed as a Gumby during the Pythons’ 2014 run at the O2

In a statement, the surviving members of the Python troupe said their comedy had endured “because we live in an increasingly Pythonesque world”.

“Extreme silliness seems more relevant now than it ever was,” they continued.

Last year Sir Michael – the only Python to be knighted – discovered a number of unseen sketches in his personal archives.

John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle and Terry Jones are the other surviving members of the Monty Python comedy troupe.

Graham Chapman, the other member, died in 1989 at the age of 48.

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