Idle: '7th Python' claim laughable
Published 05/12/2012 | 14:22
Monty Python stars Michael Palin, Terry Jones and Eric Idle have stamped on a film producer's High Court cash claim.
The trio - who formed the comedy outfit with John Cleese, Terry Gilliam and Graham Chapman more than 40 years ago - scoffed at a suggestion that producer Mark Forstater might be regarded as a "seventh Python".
Mr Forstater, who produced the 1975 film Monty Python And The Holy Grail, has taken legal action and claims that he is entitled to royalties from the stage musical Spamalot, a spin-off from the Grail film.
He is also arguing that, for "financial purposes", he should be treated as "the seventh Python".
Palin told the High Court in London that Mr Forstater was "not part of our team". Jones said Mr Forstater had "done jolly well" out of his involvement with Monty Python, while Idle said the suggestion that Mr Forstater was a "seventh Python" was laughable.
Palin said Mr Forstater had not "created" Monty Python And The Holy Grail.
"The film had been created by the Python team entirely," said Palin. "Mark came on board. He became the producer. But I don't think he was entitled to anything beyond that." He added: "Mark was not part of our team."
Jones told the court: "Python was a very strong group. We dictated what went on." He said "Python" was "very jealous of anyone entering into our creative wealth" and added: "I think he (Mr Forstater) has done jolly well out of it."
A lawyer asked Idle about Mr Forstater being classed as a "seventh Python". He replied: "When I first heard about that I found it laughable." Idle said Mr Forstater had received hundreds of thousands of pounds and added: "I feel he is slightly ungrateful".
Cleese and Gilliam were not at the hearing and are not expected to give evidence. Chapman died in 1989. The hearing continues.