Comedy legend Eric Idle has exposed a rift in the Monty Pythontroupe — and denied he is “on the take” from the group’s coffers.
Idle, 80, said he is still having to work as he receives only a fraction of the millions the team have made in the past because the finances are a “disaster”.
And he took aim at Holly Gilliam, the TV lawyer daughter of fellow Python Terry Gilliam, 83. She took over the Python brand in 2013 as part of HDG Projects Ltd, The Sun reported.
In messages on X, formerly Twitter, Idle wrote: “I don’t know why people always assume we’re loaded”.
“I have to work for my living. I never dreamed that at this age the income streams would tail off so disastrously.
“I have been working and earning for Pythons since 1995. And now no more.”
In a dig at Holly Gilliam, he added: “I guess if you put a Gilliam child in as your manager you should not be so surprised”.
“One Gilliam is bad enough. Two can take out any company.”
Daughter Lily Idle backed him, writing online: “I’m so proud of my dad for finally finally finally starting to share the truth.”
The Pythons, who also included John Cleese, 84, Michael Palin, 80, and the late Terry Jones — made a mint thanks to films, including Life of Brian, hit stage show Spamalot, which Idle co-wrote, and the original Flying Circus BBC TV series.
They were back in the limelight in 2014 with Monty Python Live (Mostly) — One Down, Five to Go, a reference to former member Graham Chapman who died in 1989 aged just 48.
It featured interpretations of some of their sketches, and reportedly earned the surviving members at least £2 million ($3.87m) each.
It was a hit in Europe and the US and is still running on Broadway.
Idle, who lives in California, dismissed comments suggesting he must still be wealthy, saying he had sold his house.
He added: “We still get something but not enough to keep me on the beaches.”
Cleese, meanwhile, is working on a TV reboot of Fawlty Towers, and Palin is making travel documentaries.
This story appeared in The Sun and is reproduced with permission.