‘He’s gone sour’: Miriam Margolyes labels Monty Python star John Cleese ‘poisonous’ in brutal sledge

Sep 11, 2023
While some applauded her for speaking out, others defended Cleese and questioned the necessity of her comments. Source: Getty Images.

Comedian Miriam Margolyes has unleashed a scathing critique on fellow comedy legend and Monty Python star John Cleese, branding him as “poisonous” during a recent interview.

The unexpected verbal jab has sent shockwaves through the entertainment industry, leaving fans bewildered.

Margolyes, known for her outspoken and unfiltered opinions, didn’t hold back when discussing Cleese in a recent interview with The Guardian, revealing that during her university days she performed with the Footlights show alongside members of Monty Python and was treated with contempt.

“They sent me to Coventry. I would go on stage, get the laughs, then I’d come off and was completely ignored,” she said.

When asked if she took any action against the alleged unfavourable treatment, Margolyes revealed that she didn’t as she “was too crushed”.

“I think they thought I was too full of myself because in those days women were literally not allowed to join the club,” she told the publication.

“Graham Chapman and John Cleese were poisonous. John was a brilliant comedian in his day, but something has turned. Like milk, he’s gone sour. He’s an irrelevance.”

While she took issue with Cleese, she did speak favourably of other members Michael Palin and Eric Idle.

“Michael Palin is completely different. He’s a darling, a special man. And Eric Idle is lovely, a friend of mine,” she said.

“He’s incredibly intelligent and very funny. Cleese is a puny tadpole of a person.”

Social media erupted with mixed reactions to Margolyes’ candid remarks. While some applauded her for speaking out, others defended Cleese and questioned the necessity of her comments.

Cleese has courted controversy in the past with his comments, and much like Margolyes, his outspoken views and opinions.

Most recently Cleese took aim at the growing trend of cancel culture, condemning the trend with his signature brand of humour.

The 83-year-old began his tirade against the notion of “cancelling” public figures when 2GB host Ben Fordham expressed concern that the Fawlty Towers star might have been cancelled himself.

“I was worried we might have cancelled you, I thought maybe cancel culture had got the better of you,” Fordham told Cleese.

Cleese responded that he doesn’t “get cancelled” because he does stage shows.

“People think to themselves, ‘I like him, so I’ll buy a ticket’,” he joked.

Cleese explained that those in his audience who choose to attend his shows would likely embrace his sense of humour rather than take offence.

“They don’t think, ‘I cannot stand that b—-d, let’s buy six tickets,” he said.

“The audience is pre-selected to like me, so when I come out they like me and they like the sort of humour I do.”

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