UKTV’s CEO, Darren Childs, announced today at the annual UKTV Live event, that its comedy channel Gold has commissioned the ultimate Monty Python documentary; Monty Python: The Meaning of Live.
The 90-minute film, co-directed by BAFTA award-winning Roger Graef OBE and James Rogan will offer unprecedented access to the five surviving members of Monty Python; John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin.
“I’m delighted to be working with the Pythons again. The treat of sharing their reunion and the audience’s enthusiasm is caught in our footage, and shines throughout our film. With an unprecedented level of access and backstage material, this documentary captures the most anticipated comeback show in comedy history. Viewers are given a unique insight into the enormous effort of the backstage ballet behind the seamless performances of the five diverse entertainers, who have come together following a 35 year hiatus.” – Roger Graef OBE
Roger Graef’s remarkable relationship with the Monty Python troupe dates back to the 1970s. He filmed rehearsals, backstage and performances of their 1976 Amnesty International benefit show for his fascinating and critically-acclaimed documentary Pleasure At Her Majesty’s.Monty Python: The Meaning of Live is an intimate and entertaining documentary that tells the story of their ground-breaking live performances, and includes rarely seen footage from their earliest stage shows in 1971 and Live at the Hollywood Bowl in 1980.
Roger has also been given unparalleled access to film behind-the-scenes in the run-up to Monty Python 2014 reunion show, Monty Python Live (mostly) – One Down Five to Go at The O2, London. He follows these comic legends in the lead up to their first new stage show in over three decades. Roger’s unique relationship with the Pythons has allowed him a rare insight into the nature of their collaboration and friendships. The documentary captures many entertaining and surprising moments, right up until the final curtain of their very last show.
The last night of Monty Python Live (Mostly) was broadcast live on Gold. It was the first time in the channel’s history that it broadcast a live event and it proved to be a ratings smash-hit. Nearly one million individuals tuned in, making it Gold’s highest ever rating show, and saw it trend on Twitter throughout the night.
“Making comedy is hard work, and the anxiety of doing it live is even harder. As they build up to their last ever performance, there will be laughter, reflection and tears. It’s the Pythons as never seen before, and will never be seen again.” – Roger Graef OBE
In addition to this special documentary, a five-part series, Monty Python’s Best Bits (mostly) will celebrate Monty Python’s most ingenious and imaginative sketches and the effect that they have had on the comedy world. It will include the very best footage from their TV series and insights from some of the biggest names in comedy with Jim Carrey, Tracey Ullman, Mike Myers, Cheryl Chase, Stephen Fry, Matt Lucas, Simon Pegg, Steve Coogan, Eddie Izzard, and Mike Myers already confirmed to appear.