John Cleese has revealed why he decided to join the GB News team.
The Monty Python and Fawlty Towers star, 83, revealed last year that he would present a daily one-hour show on the broadcaster, stressing at the time that it was not a “right-wing channel,” but a “free speech channel.”
Then, two months ago, further details about the show were disclosed, with a teaser stating that he would be providing a “no-holds-barred account” of the news.
Cleese has now elaborated on his choice to accept a job offer from the broadcaster.
In an interview with Michelle Dewberry on GB News, he discussed his own programme, The Dinosaur Hour, which would feature a series of interviews shot in a mediaeval castle.
‘They came to me a few months ago and they made me the most extraordinary offer that’s ever been made to anyone in the history of television,’ he said.
‘They said “would you like to do ten shows; you can do whatever you like”.
‘Can you imagine the BBC doing that? It would be subject to committee A and then after committee A had approved it, you’d go to Committee B. They said you can do anything and I’ve had no interference of any kind and it has been joyful.’
He added: ‘So, I’ve got people sitting in armchairs talking to each other much closer because talking like this, it becomes more interesting and intimate.’
Cleese then explained more about filming his show.
‘The castle it’s filmed in was built in 1166 because King John was involved, but they found a wonderful room there and they set it up as a sort of slightly lunatic gentlemen’s club,’ he said.
‘I’ve never worked with a nicer team. It’s a lovely atmosphere because I think humans are much happier when they’re working in smaller groups.’
However, he again hit out at the BBC, the broadcaster who aired Fawlty Towers back in the 1970s.
‘And when it gets vast – you go to the BBC and it’s these vast buildings and nobody seems to know who anyone is.
During the conversation, he also revealed more information about the planned remake of his legendary comedy series, but stated it will be a while.
‘My daughter Camilla and I have started writing Fawlty Towers, but it’s only a glint in the eye at the moment,’ he said.
‘Unfortunately, they made a sort of press release much, much too early, so everyone got excited about it.
‘It’ll be set probably in the Caribbean, and we’ll be making it probably in a year’s time at most. Maybe we’ll do the pilot before that.’
He then said it would follow Basil after he sells the hotel and is living with the daughter, while Cleese added it was ‘funnier if Sybil is dead.’
Despite jumping at the GB News job, Cleese previously he admitted he ‘didn’t know who they were’.
He told Amol Rajan on Radio 4: ‘I was approached and I didn’t know who they were, I don’t know much about modern television because I’d pretty much given up on it – I mean English television.’