1970s TV icon, 80, shuts down claim he’s ‘loaded’ and reveals truth about income

1970s TV icon, 80, shuts down claim he’s ‘loaded’ and reveals truth about income

Monty Python icon Eric Idle revealed he still has to work for his living at 80 (Picture: Getty)

TV icon Eric Idle has debunked the idea that he is set up for life with cash thanks to the huge success of Monty Python.

The legendary comedy troupe – which formed in 1969 and also included John Cleese, Terry Jones, Graham Chapman, Terry Gilliam and Michael Palin – saw huge success with their BBC sketch show Monty Python’s Flying Circus, as well as in live shows, films, books and radio.

However, Idle, now 80, has claimed that the way the group has been managed is ‘a disaster’ and all the associated money had long dried out.

Responding to a fan’s question on social media platform X about ‘Spamalot money’ – the successful 2004 musical stage show co-written by Idle and based on the iconic movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail – he wrote: ‘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 for my living. Not easy at this age,’ he added.

On Saturday, he returned to X to continue the conversation when one fan admitted they ‘honestly [couldn’t] tell if this is a bit or if you’re being sincere’.

The TV comedy troupe expanded from TV to films, live shows and more over the years (Picture: Columbia/Kobal/Rex/Shutterstock)

Idle called the financial legacy of his success with Monty Python ‘a disaster’ (Picture: Universal/Celandine/Monty Python/Kobal/Rex/Shutterstock)

‘We own everything we ever made in Python and I never dreamed that at this age the income streams would tail off so disastrously,’ the star, who survived a pancreatic cancer diagnosis in 2019, explained.

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With fellow Python members John Cleese and Michael Palin in 1975’s Monty Python and the Holy Grail (Picture: Everett/Rex/Shutterstock)

Monty Python member and Time Bandits filmmaker Gilliam’s daughter Holly has acted in a management role for the group since 2013, co-producing their reunion show Monty Python Live (mostly) – One Down Five to Go at the O2 Arena in 2014.

Graham Chapman died at the age of 48 in 1989, while Terry Jones died from complications of dementia aged 70 in January 2020.

On the HDJ Projects website, which advertises itself as a multi-platform creative production, project & artist management founded by Holly Gilliam, she is also listed as ‘responsible for the management, development and “future-planning” of the brand’.

Idle’s daughter Lily then followed up her father’s latest tweet, offering him public support.

‘I’m so proud of my dad for finally finally finally starting to share the truth,’ she posted, quoting his tweet.

Terry Gilliam’s daughter Holly currently manages Monty Python, with Idle seemingly criticising her efforts (Picture: Richard Young/Rex/Shutterstock)

‘He has always stood up to bullies and narcissists and absolutely deserves reassurance and validation for doing so.’ 

When a fan asked Idle, who appeared on The Masked Singer in 2022, he simply told them: ‘Come see a show.’

The prolific voice actor, who was also in Casper and narrated Ella Enchanted, claimed that he ‘[didn’t] mind not being wealthy’.

‘I prefer being funny. I don’t like being assumed to be wealthy. It’s different. I think Python was Executive free comedy,’ he mused.

The comedy star, who wrote stage musical Spamalot, encouraged fans to buy tickets to that if they wanted to support him (Picture: BBC/PA)

Idle recently shared that he was disappointed he hadn’t been cancelled yet for his offensive humour, reminding fans that the point of Monty Python from the start ‘was absolutely to upset and insult’.

Spamalot is currently running on Broadway with tickets on sale until July.

Metro.co.uk has contacted a rep for Eric Idle and Holly Gilliam for comment.

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