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Monty Python star Eric Idle: “I’m still working at 80 for economic reasons”

Monty Python star Eric Idle has said he has continued working into his 80s for financial reasons.

The comedian and actor, known for his role as Sir Robin, the not-so-brave Sir Lancelot in Monty Python and the Holy Grail and many other characters in the group’s films and series, said he sold his house last year.

In a series of posts on X, formerly Twitter, Idle also said: “I don’t know why people always assume we’re loaded. Python is a disaster.

“Spamalot made money 20 years ago. I have to work to earn a living. “It’s not easy at this age.”

Idle created the medieval musical Spamalot, which won the Tony Award for Best Musical after its run on Broadway. He also appeared in Shrek the Third (2007) and in Monty Python Live (Mostly) alongside some members of the troupe in 2014.

Based for much of the last few decades in Los Angeles, Idle also thanked his followers for the “kind words and encouragement.”

“It means a lot to me,” Idle added.

He also seemed surprised by the decline in his fortunes following the success of Monty Python. “We own everything we’ve created in Python and I never dreamed that at this age revenue streams would decline so disastrously,” Idle wrote.

When asked if a Netflix documentary could help, he said “fuck documentaries” and the streaming company.

Idle also said: “I’m fine. I am engaged and writing. It’s what I do the most and I like it. Creating a new show. Something that feels so completely normal. I have been doing it since 1963. I have learned a lot. But then I had some great mentors.”

In September 2022, Idle said he survived pancreatic cancer after receiving a rare early diagnosis and appeared on the celebrity singing show The Masked Singer in the US.

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Along with Graham Chapman, Fawlty Towers star John Cleese, Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas director Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones and travel writer Sir Michael Palin, Idle founded the comedy troupe in 1969.

Chapman died in 1989 of tonsil cancer at age 48, and Jones died in 2020 at age 77 due to a rare form of dementia.

In 2013, a producer of the 1975 film Monty Python and the Holy Grail won a high court copyright fight with the comedy team to reap some of the profits from Spamalot.

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