John Cleese launches BBC rant over comedy shows
John Cleese has taken aim at BBC bosses as he is convinced they have lost their ability to make decent comedy programmes.
The Monty Python star claims chiefs at the corporation have "never written and never directed" and is worried about the effect this is having on their TV shows.
Speaking on an upcoming BBC tribute programme, which was recorded on Monday night, he says, "The people who became executives (in the 1960s and 1970s) had produced or directed a great deal of comedy.
"Now there seems to be an executive class and they have never written and never directed. They seem by some mystical process to understand comedy much better. And now they want to know what is going to be in every programme so that they can say, 'That won't work'. On the basis of what?"
Sir Michael Parkinson was also at the recording, which was made to mark the end of filming at London's iconic Television Centre.
The former TV chat show host mourned the loss of the venue, which has been sold off, adding, "We have lost an awful lot. It is as culturally significant in my view as the Royal Opera House or the National Theatre.
"If you think of what's been done here, people's memories of it, it is extraordinary that it has gone without any kind of recognition or outcry. It's irreplaceable, it is a history of our time."