BBC comedy boss says Oxbridge white blokes of Python would be refused

No Joke: Head of BBC comedy says Oxbridge white blokes of Python wouldn’t get on TV now

  • Monty Python would not stand a chance of getting on TV now says BBC boss 
  • Head of comedy Shane Allen said the broadcaster is looking for more diversity
  • His comments came as he unveiled new programmes including an all-woman sketch show which are far removed from past ‘Oxbridge white bloke’s’ comedy

A BBC boss has suggested classic shows like Monty Python would not be commissioned today as the ‘Oxbridge white bloke’s’ day is over.

Head of comedy Shane Allen said the broadcaster no longer values the ‘metropolitan, educated experience’ and needs to be more diverse.

Monty Python stars such as John Cleese and Michael Palin, along with Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie, have all forged successful BBC careers after studying at Oxbridge.

But Mr Allen, apparently forgetting that one of the six Pythons – Terry Gilliam – didn’t go to Oxford or Cambridge, said: ‘If you’re going to assemble a team now it’s not going to be six Oxbridge white blokes. It’s going to be a diverse range of people who reflect the modern world.’

Eric Idle and Graham Chapman from an original Monty Python sketch – which would not be welcomed now, the chief of BBC comedy Shane Allen has said 

‘Monty Python’s Flying Circus’ was first transmitted on the 5th October 1969, and to celebrate the anniversary, BBC TWO  devoted an entire evening to the comedy troupe in 1999. However, it would not get a chance of passing through to TV now, it has been claimed 

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He added: ‘It’s about telling stories that haven’t been told. When you look at the ones [recent comedies] that have done well they’ve got a really specific sense of place.

‘And I think we’ve heard the metropolitan, educated experience. I think it’s about how original a voice you have over what school you went to.’

His comments came as he unveiled a series of new programmes, including an all-woman sketch show.

John Cleese from the classic Monty Python sketch ‘The Ministry of Funny’ from 1999. Now, BBC bosses say this type of show will not be aired because it is not diverse enough 

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