UKTV is sticking with Monty Python.
The commercial network, which is a joint venture between Scripps Networks Interactive and BBC Worldwide, has ordered Monty Python: The Meaning of Live, a 90 minute film which is being hailed as “the ultimate Monty Python documentary”.
Directed by Roger Graef OBE and James Rogan, Monty Python: The Meaning of Live tells the story of Monty Python‘s ground-breaking live performances and includes rarely seen footage from stage shows in 1971 and 1980. The documentary also secured unparalleled access to film behind-the-scenes in the run-up to Monty Python 2014 reunion and offers rare insight into the nature of the collaboration and friendships of the five surviving members of the group.
The one-off documentary is the latest piece of Monty Python themed programming for Gold, who previously aired a live broadcast of Monty Python Live (mostly) – One Down Five to Go’s final stage show – which shattered ratings records for the channel – and ordered a five-part series on the comedy troupe titled Monty Python Best Bits (mostly).
Monty Python: The Meaning of Live was commissioned by UKTV’s Director of Commissioning Richard Watsham and is being produced by Python (Monty) Pictures Limited, Films of Record and Phil McIntyre Television, who are producing Monty Python Best Bits (mostly) for Gold. Jim Beach and Holly Gilliam are set to produce. The executive producers are Hilary Rosen, Lucy Ansbro and Lindsay Jex.
“Monty Python is arguably the most influential comedy group this country has ever known and it’s a matter of great pride that they given Gold unparalleled access to the build-up of their hugely anticipated final reunion”, said UKTV’s Commissioning Editor Hilary Rosen. “Roger Graef is a brilliant director, and the amazing chemistry and rapport he has with the Pythons is clear throughout. In this ultimate Monty Python documentary we will see them as never before.”
While Gold’s General Manager Steve North added: “It was a huge step in Gold’s evolution to broadcast live the final performance of Monty Python and this insightful documentary also forms part of the channel’s bold commissioning strategy. No other documentary has had such incredible access to the Pythons in the run-up to what was a significant national event.”