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Malcolm Muggeridge

  • English
  • Writer and satirist

Press clippings

Radio Times review

The reunion of the UK's most influential comedy troupe - yes, the Pythons, of course - has now accumulated a mountain of speculation. Did the first show really sell out in under a minute? Are the "boys", all now in their 70s, really only doing it for the money? Will they still be funny? (No, yes, er. . .) More will be revealed here.

BBC Radio 2 (17.00-19.00, 1st July) has managed the considerable coup of nabbing arguably the two most eloquent members of the team (Michael Palin and John Cleese, who so memorably trounced Malcolm Muggeridge and the Bishop of Southwark during the Life of Brian scandal in 1979) to do a live interview hours before the Python show at London's 02 arena. The interviewer is Simon Mayo, and I can't imagine anyone better.

David McGillivray, Radio Times, 1st July 2014

The furore surrounding the release of Monty Python's Life of Brian in 1979 - which saw the film picketed by nuns, banned by local councils and accused of blasphemy - forms the basis of this one-off drama, a homage to the Pythons by Tony Roche (one of the writers for The Thick of It and its film spin-off, In the Loop). The drama raises good points about freedom of speech, religious intolerance and the boundaries of comedy.

It's also cheeky, fantastical and occasionally very funny. The structure, however, is a bit of a mess, trying too hard to ape the chaos of the Python format - it's often too surreal for its own good. The mix of drama, animation and puppetry builds towards a late-night confrontation on a TV chat show in which John Cleese (played by Darren Boyd of Green Wing and Whites) and Michael Palin (Charles Edwards) are pitted against the media commentator and outspoken Christian Malcolm Muggeridge (Michael Cochrane) and the Bishop of Southwark (Roy Marsden). This chat show debate really did take place; after it, Cleese and Palin said they'd lost their respect for Muggeridge, whom they'd admired in his earlier career as a satirist.

The Telegraph, 18th October 2011

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