Palin snubs 'seventh Python' claim

News Shopper: Michael Palin has rejected film producer Mark Forstater claim that he should be treated as a 'seventh Python' Michael Palin has rejected film producer Mark Forstater claim that he should be treated as a 'seventh Python'

Broadcaster Michael Palin has dismissed a suggestion that a film producer was a seventh member of the Monty Python comedy team.

Palin - one of six stars of the Monty Python television series - told a High Court trial that the idea that Mark Forstater was a "seventh Python" would not have been accepted.

Mr Forstater, who produced the 1975 film Monty Python And The Holy Grail, has taken legal action and claims he is entitled to royalties from the stage musical Spamalot, a spin-off from the Grail film.

He has argued that, for "financial purposes", he should be treated as "the seventh Python". But Palin disputed the claim.

"It may have been what he wanted but it was never going to be accepted by the Pythons," Palin told the hearing in London.

"The idea of a 'seventh Python' just doesn't happen. It was never going to be accepted. I don't think there was ever any suggestion this man was going to be a 'seventh Python'."

Palin said Mr Forstater had not "created" Monty Python And The Holy Grail.

"He was not the creator of the film. The film had been created by the Python team entirely," said Palin. "Mark came on board. He became the producer. But I don't think he was entitled to anything beyond that. Mark was not part of our team."

Mr Palin said it was unlikely that Mr Forstater had "input" into writing the Grail film.

"It doesn't seem really likely to me," he told the court. "There were six of us. We were a tight group. We wrote our own material." He added that "major decisions" would have been taken by "the Pythons themselves".

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