Belfast Telegraph

John Cleese says he is ‘too naughty’ for a knighthood

The Monty Python star said he does not intend to follow in co-star Sir Michael Palin’s footsteps.

John Cleese has said he is ‘too naughty’ to be given a knighthood (Isabel Infantes/PA)
John Cleese has said he is ‘too naughty’ to be given a knighthood (Isabel Infantes/PA)

John Cleese has said he is “too naughty” for a knighthood.

The comedian’s Monty Python co-star, Sir Michael Palin, was recently knighted for his services to travel, culture and geography, making him the first member of the sketch show cast to receive the honour.

But Cleese, 79, said he has no intention of taking the same path, adding that he doubts he will ever be offered a knighthood due to his “controversial” behaviour.

This is despite the fact that during his investiture at Buckingham Palace last month, Sir Michael hinted that Cleese had previously turned down the offer.

Speaking on ITV’s Lorraine, he said: “I’m much too naughty and mischievous. Michael’s quite respectable. He doesn’t do naughty things, he’s not rude about the press like I am.

“People like me don’t get knighted. But that’s right – I don’t think comedians should have knighthoods.

“By and large we’re supposed to say controversial things. That makes us interesting.”

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Sir Michael Palin after he was made a Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (David Mirzoeff/PA)

Cleese also joked that he planned to make sure none of the Pythons attended his forthcoming 80th birthday party.

Asked whether he planned to host a party, he replied: “Oh yes, oh yes. Going to make sure none of the Pythons are there – don’t want any of the grubby knights hanging around.”

He added: “80! I can’t believe that. No (I don’t feel grown up), not at all. I feel about 43. I wish I was 43.

“I know so much more about how the world works now. I realise the key thing is to realise that very little matters. Just a small number of people – the happiness of people around you.”

Remaining Pythons Cleese, Sir Michael, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle and Terry Jones recently announced plans to mark their 50th anniversary.

The birthday of Monty Python’s Flying Circus will be celebrated with a “BBC takeover” and a world record attempt.

PA

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