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Monty Python’s Flying Circus repeats to return to TV after 35 years

Repeats of Monty Python’s Flying Circus will be aired regularly on That’s TV (Python (Monty) (Pictures Limited/BBC/PA)
Repeats of Monty Python’s Flying Circus will be aired regularly on That’s TV (Python (Monty) (Pictures Limited/BBC/PA)

Monty Python’s Flying Circus is returning to UK terrestrial television for the first time in almost 35 years.

The cult comedy sketch series was created by the comedy group Monty Python, consisting of Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam, Graham Chapman and John Cleese, also known as the Pythons.

The show, often shortened to Monty Python, was first recorded in September 1969, with the first episode premiering on BBC One in October of the same year.

In total, 45 episodes of the show aired over four series.

The BBC last repeated the Bafta-award-winning series almost 35 years ago in 1988.

Monty Python’s Flying Circus anniversay
The comedy sketch show first aired on BBC One in 1969 (Python (Monty) Pictures Limited/BBC/PA)

That’s TV, available Freeview, Sky and Freesat, has announced it has acquired the exclusive network TV rights to all four of the show’s series.

The channel, which shows classic TV series, documentaries and music, will air the episodes uncut every weeknight at 9pm from Monday March 14.

Members of the Pythons have previously expressed their surprise at the fact the show has not been repeated more frequently.

Cleese, 82, has suggested that the BBC was refusing to rerun the show because it was “too funny”.

He told Radio 4’s Today show: “It might not contrast well with some of the comedy they’re doing now, that’s the only explanation I’ve got.”

Monty Python live shows
The show was created by John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Graham Chapman, Michael Palin and Terry Gilliam. Chapman died in 1989 aged 48 (PA)

That’s TV is currently amassing the rights to broadcast hundreds of episodes of classic TV shows.

The free-to-air channel is already showing re-runs of Russ Abbot’s Madhouse, The Benny Hill Show, Kenny Everett and Les Dawson’s entertainment show Sez Les.

That’s TV Head of Programming, Kris Vaiksalu said: “For over 50 years, Monty Python’s Flying Circus has had audiences in stitches of laughter.

“The show is widely regarded as one of the greatest comedy series ever made in the world.

“It is truly timeless, and its influence continues to be seen today.

“The Pythons are part of our national heritage but for too long this iconic show has been left buried in the archives.

“We are proud to have acquired the exclusive free TV rights to every episode and will be showing them all in full and uncut on That’s TV this spring.”

Uncut episodes of Monty Python’s Flying Circus will begin airing on That’s TV every weeknight at 9pm from March 14.

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