British award to honor Monty Python at NY reunion

Tue Aug 18, 2009 12:07pm EDT
 
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LONDON (Reuters) - The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) will honor the Monty Python comedy team with a special award for their contribution to film and television at an event in New York on October 15.

BAFTA, which hands out Britain's equivalent of the Oscars each year, last honored the Monty Python team in 1987, when they were presented with the Michael Balcon Award for Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema.

"I believe these trinkets are more important than people think," said John Cleese, who formed the world-renowned troupe along with Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin and the late Graham Chapman. The presentation will take place at the official 40th anniversary Monty Python reunion event co-hosted by the Independent Film Channel, and will follow a screening of "Monty Python: Almost the Truth (The Lawyer's Cut)."

"It promises to be a rare and memorable occasion bringing the hugely talented Monty Python team together again, and we feel that the Special Award is a fitting tribute to this much-loved and singularly British institution," said BAFTA chairman David Parfitt.

Monty Python created the influential British television show "Monty Python's Flying Circus" which first aired in 1969, and went on to make popular movies including "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" and "Monty Python's Life of Brian."

All five surviving members of Monty Python will attend the reunion at the Ziegfeld Theater in New York City as well as a question and answer session following the screening.

(Reporting by Mike Collett-White, editing by Paul Casciato)

 
<p>Former Monty Python Terry Jones poses next to "the parking meter from hell" before an interview with Reuters at Sao Luis theatre in Lisbon January 10, 2008. REUTERS/Nacho Doce</p>