Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 April 2014

Pythons raise glass to Chapman

Terry Jones, left, and Michael Palin attend the unveiling of a plaque outside The Angel Inn in Highgate dedicated to Graham Chapman

Monty Python stars descended on Graham Chapman's "manor" today to raise a glass to the life of "a very naughty" boy.

Michael Palin and Terry Jones were joined by comedians and former colleagues Barry Cryer and Carol Cleveland at "Chapman's manor", The Angel Pub in Highgate, north London, to unveil a plaque to the Life of Brian comedian.

The memorial was organised by Chapman's family and friends after English Heritage dropped plans for an official plaque due to budget cuts. The plaque describes Chapman, who died in 1989, as "a very naughty" boy in reference to his famous Brian role, and says that he "drank here often and copiously".

Palin said: "This was Graham's manor and Graham was a lovely guy. I spent many happy times with him, most of which I forget. This was where he was and we used to come up here to see him.

"Highgate was his patch and he should be celebrated because he was a very good, brilliant, funny, nice, wise, kind man, who occasionally drank too much."

Palin said he believed Chapman would have been pleased that so many of his friends turned out to celebrate his life.

"I think he'd be suitably impressed that we all came along. He would have stroked his sideburns a bit as he was known to do. I think he would have approved," he said.

Cryer echoed Palin's words about the significance of the pub and described Chapman as "one of my best mates". He said: "We did an awful lot of writing together, but also an awful lot of drinking together. I think the pub is the perfect place to put the plaque. Very Graham, very silly."

Chapman's life and times will be the basis of the forthcoming film A Liar's Autobiography - The Untrue Story Of Monty Python's Graham Chapman, based on his book, and will star the man himself through audio recordings.

The animated film brings Chapman together with fellow Pythons Palin, Jones, John Cleese and Terry Gilliam for the first time in 23 years.

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