Imagine... Monty Python: And Now For Something Rather Similar. Image shows from L to R: John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam. Copyright: BBC.

Imagine... Monty Python: And Now For Something Rather Similar

BBC One documentary. 1 episode in 2014. Features Alan Yentob, John Cleese, Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, Eric Idle, John Du Prez and others.

Press Clippings

Monty Python. You resent this reunion, don't you?

I wish Yentob had pushed them all on this point. "Look," he should have said, to each Python in turn. "Be honest. Not mock-honest - none of your ha-ha-we-can't-stand-each-other's-company-and-we're-only-doing-it-for-the-money-ha-ha. Give it to us straight. You actually quite resent this reunion, don't you?"

Michael Deacon, The Telegraph, 5th July 2014

Imagineā€¦ Monty Python - And Now For Something Rather Similar opened with a series of interviews given by the comedy team in 1999. Each, in turn, gave a professional, personal, artistic or logistical reason why they would never perform as a group again.

Fast-forward 14 years, and the Pythons have announced a reunion. It was going to be a one-off performance in London's O2 Arena, but when this sold out in 45 seconds they quickly expanded it into a very lucrative tour.

Imagineā€¦ and Alan Yentob tracked the Pythons down to various parts of the globe, where they were all engaged upon individual projects, to discuss the forthcoming tour. Most expressed mild enthusiasm, John Cleese declared curmudgeonly ambivalence, while Terry Gilliam announced that he wouldn't be able to attend any rehearsals as he had a film to launch in Paris.

Only Eric Idle appeared genuinely committed to the undertaking. Moreover, he wasn't content to stage a greatest hits sketch show but took it upon himself to produce an authentic stage spectacular, complete with an all-singing, all-dancing chorus.

The other Pythons seemed happy to let him do all the hard work, put in the hours, shoulder the stress and accept the responsibility. Which, in my experience, is pretty much the template for all creative 'teams'.

Harry Venning, The Stage, 2nd July 2014

Imagine... Monty Python: the sadness behind the reunion

The BBC arts documentary was clever, discomforting film-making but do Monty Python really want to get back together?

Benji Wilson, The Telegraph, 30th June 2014

TV review: Imagine... Monty Python

Python nuts will be miffed that an entire hour passed before there was any real reference to Graham Chapman, but it was heart-warming to see the team plan to include him in the stage show by inserting clips of him saying, 'Stop that! This is silly!'

Julie McDowall, The Herald, 29th June 2014

Review: Imagine...Monty Python

The best moment was probably seeing pictures of the elaborate sets which looked tantalising. For the first time, I felt excited about seeing the show.

Bruce Dessau, Beyond The Joke, 29th June 2014

Scale of Python death insurance quotes revealed

Monty Python comic Eric Idle has revealed that the death insurance quotes for the reunion shows were so high that the OAP comedy group suggested doing a deal - offering the audiences their money back if not one but TWO Pythons die!

Collette Walsh, The Mirror, 29th June 2014

Radio Times review

Over the years the Flying Circus and their completely different style of humour have been pored over like a dead parrot, but this particular Pythonic probe is a different beast altogether...

The reverence in which the gang are still held 31 years after their last film, and 40 years after the TV series, is reflected by their forthcoming reunion shows selling out quicker than you can say "albatross".

Of course, the gang hasn't been the full Monty since 1989, when Graham Chapman went to join the choir invisibule. But "Gray" will make his presence felt in the shows via hand-picked clips.

Alan Yentob pursues the remaining Pythons as they pursue their individual projects, and as they come together for rehearsals. The fun comes from guessing which sketches will make the final cut. Will this be the right room for an Argument - "I've told you once" - or will the Four Yorkshiremen still be competing in onedownmanship? ("We were evicted from our hole in the ground"). The latter routine might lend itself to a more reflective interpretation now, with lines such as "I was happier then when I had nothin'." I wonder if the Pythons were, too...

Mark Braxton, Radio Times, 29th June 2014

Why the reunion gig will be vintage Monty Python

Monty Python are back - which is great news for fans of surreal comedy and TV nostalgia, but, you might think, not such good news for lovers of something completely different. After all, the sketches are so well known that fans can parrot them word for word. What can possibly be new about a legendary 1970s comedy that was last revived more than 30 years ago?

Matthew Stadlen, Radio Times, 29th June 2014

Monty Python were The Beatles

They were the surreal comedy troupe who took television by storm, made millions howl with laughter at their bizarre sketches and inspired a new generation of alternative humour. And now, thanks to this special film, fans of Monty Python can go behind the scenes as they prepare for their farewell reunion shows in London.

Neil Batey, The Mirror, 29th June 2014

No more silly walks from John Cleese at the O2

The public's love for "silly walks" does not appear to be shared by its chief protagonist.

Jonathan Owen and Lucy Anna Gray, The Independent, 29th June 2014