BBC Four to make comedy drama about Life Of Brian

Tuesday 21st June 2011 @ 6:40pm

Monty Python's Life Of Brian. Image credit: Hand Made Films.The BBC have commissioned a comedy drama based around the controversy caused by the release of Monty Python's 1979 film, Life Of Brian.

Holy Flying Circus, a 90 minute one-off comedy drama, will be broadcast in the autumn on BBC Four. It has been written by Tony Roche, whose other credits include Miranda, The Thick Of It and the forthcoming Channel 4 univeristy-based comedy drama Fresh Meat.

Darren Boyd (Dirk Gently, Whites) will star as John Cleese; Steve Punt (The Now Show) will take on the role of Eric Idle; Rufus Jones (Mongrels, Katy Brand's Big Ass Show) will be Terry Jones; drama actor Charles Edwards has been cast as Michael Palin; Tom Fisher (Treasure Island) will portray Graham Chapman; and Canadian stand-up Phil Nichol has been cast as Terry Gilliam.

Holy Flying Circus will focus on the controversy stired up by the release of Life Of Brian, the second film from the Monty Python sketch team, which told the story of a man who was mistaken for the Messiah. Now regarded as one of the funniest comedy films ever made, Life Of Brian provoked anger from Christian groups when it was released in 1979, with church leaders claiming the film mocked Christ. Life Of Brian was subsequently banned in several countries and members of Monty Python went on TV to defend the film.

BBC Four commissioner Richard Klein says: "This is a smart and witty take on both the nature of censorship and the world of Monty Python. Tony Roche's script is both bold and entertaining, a wonderfully warm homage to one of the most original of British comedy teams."

Here is a clip showing footage from Friday Night... Saturday Morning, the chat show hosted by Tim Rice on which John Cleese and Michael Palin argued with church leaders about the film's intent. Famously, it was later revealed that the two religious representatives - journalist Malcolm Muggeridge and Bishop of Southwark Mervyn Stockwood - had arrived 15 minutes late to a screening of the film, thus missing the crucial opening scenes that established Brian and Jesus as separate people.


Here is the original trailer for Life Of Brian:


And here is Eric Idle's hit song from the film:


Our Guide to 'Holy Flying Circus'

 

Latest News

Lost Voice Guy wins BBC New Comedy Award 2014

Lost Voice Guy wins BBC New Comedy Award 2014

Lee Ridley, a stand-up comedian with cerebral palsy, has won the BBC New Comedy Award 2014.

British Comedy Awards 2014 results

British Comedy Awards 2014 results

The full results of The British Comedy Awards 2014 are here. Click through to find out who won the King or Queen category, and more.

Channel 4 commission sci-fi sitcom pilot Space Ark

Channel 4 commission sci-fi sitcom pilot Space Ark

Channel 4 has commissioned Space Ark, a sitcom pilot about life on board a spaceship that escapes Earth before the planet is destroyed.

Boomers and Citizen Khan get another series

Boomers and Citizen Khan get another series

It has been confirmed that BBC One sitcoms Boomers and Citizen Khan will both return for another series, as the BBC outlines its plans for comedy in 2015.

Olivia Colman to star in Channel 4 sitcom Flowers

Olivia Colman to star in Channel 4 sitcom Flowers

Olivia Colman and Julian Barrett are to star in Flowers, a new sitcom pilot about "the ultimate dysfunctional family".

Gold to show Bob Monkhouse documentary series

Gold to show Bob Monkhouse documentary series

UK Gold is to show Bob Monkhouse: The Million Joke Man, a three-part documentary series presented by Paul O'Grady.

Get More News

In The Press

In The Press

The latest press clippings from the newspapers and various internet blogs.

Newsletter

Newsletter

Subscribe to our mailing list to get news and more in your inbox every Monday.

Twitter

Twitter Feed

You can follow us on Twitter too. We post the latest news and gossip every evening.

RSS Feed

RSS Feed

Subscribe to our RSS feed to get our headlines in your news reader software.