The Monty Python member warns fans that he won’t shy away from controversial topics after signing a deal as a presenter on a British news television channel.
AceShowbiz –John Cleese has been signed on for GB News. The former Monty Python star is joining forces with comedian Andrew Doyle to present a show on the news channel and warned viewers to be prepared to be “shocked” when the programme starts next year as he’s keen to shine a light on issues he claimed are widely “censored” by most outlets.
“There’s a massive amount of important information that gets censored, both in TV and in the press. In my new show, I’ll be talking about a lot of it. You should be prepared to be shocked,” the 82-year-old comedian told journalist Amol Rajan of the show while appearing on BBC Radio 4’s “Today” programme.
The 82-year-old star admitted he didn’t know much about the network – which launched last year – when he was first approached about the programme but their embracing of “free speech” struck a chord.
He said, “I was approached and I didn’t know who they were … And then I met one or two of the [GB News] people concerned and had dinner with them, and I liked them very much. And what they said was, ‘People say it’s the right wing channel – it’s a free speech channel.’ “
The “Fish Called Wanda” star insisted he could never front a similar show on the BBC because of how he would be “cancelled or censored.” John said, “The BBC have not come to me and said, ‘Would you like to have some one-hour shows?’ And if they did, I would say, ‘Not on your nelly!’ Because I wouldn’t get five minutes into the first show before I’d been cancelled or censored.”
John – whose new employer is currently the subject of an Ofcom investigation over on-air claims made about COVID-19 vaccines – argued for having “public debate.”
He said, “If there’s a factual response to something like that, then that should be made. That’s the job, to put the facts out there, and then to have opinions slightly separate and have a proper argument about it, but not to try to avoid a public debate.”
The veteran coming insisted Monty Python wouldn’t be wanted by the BBC nowadays “because it’s six white people, five of whom went to Oxbridge.”
He added, “If people enjoy something, then the BBC should be making more of it. And if people don’t enjoy something, they should probably be making less of it. But their job is to produce the best possible programmes.”
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