Michael Palin has said that he is amazed the BBC has not shown repeats of Monty Python’s Flying Circus for years.
“I don’t know why [the show hasn’t been repeated],” the writer, presenter and performer told RadioTimes.com.
“We had a notorious case in America in 1976 with ABC to stop them showing clips of Python without consulting us and in the end the BBC settled with us and said we should have let you know, you are the writers and we will give you the rights to everything except the rights to television in the UK. Presumably the BBC still hold those rights.”
Asked if he would like to see the classic sketches aired again he said: “Yes. I am amazed it hasn’t been repeated. There must be a reason, but I don’t know what that could be.”
Monty Python’s Flying Circus first aired in 1969 and was last repeated on the BBC in 1988.
A spokesman said: “The BBC has an incredibly rich back catalogue of world class comedies but with the limited resources we have we are also committed to bringing on new talent, both on and off the screen.”
However, Python fans will at least be able to console themselves with a special appearance by Palin at the Radio Times Festival next month when he will be inducted into the Radio Times Hall of Fame.
Palin said: “I am wholly honoured to have this tribute thrust upon me.”
The Radio Times Festival is returning on April 7 to 9 with a bumper weekend of talks and screenings at London’s BFI.
Palin will reflect on his distinguished career including reflections on some of his lesser-known work including his coming-of-age drama East of Ipswich and sketches from the sixties classic Do Not Adjust your Set, the sketch show featuring fellow Pythons Terry Jones and Eric Idle alongside a young David Jason.
The Radio Times Festival will also offer a chance to hear from the creators of your favourite shows including The Durrells and Call the Midwife.