May 19, 2022

New Online: BBC Archive Release Celebrates Monty Python’s 50th Anniversary with Photos and Documents

From the BBC: 

A new archive of photos and documents has been uncovered which illustrates rarely seen moments from the making of Monty Python, as the ground-breaking comedy show celebrates its 50th anniversary.

Source: BBC

Monty Python’s Flying Circus first aired on 5 October 1969 on BBC One and went on to run for four series.

The images from the Monty Python Archive, lovingly and painstakingly restored by the BBC Photo Archive team and held in the BBC Photo Archive, include behind-the-scenes photos of the group, made up of John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin, and the late Graham Chapman. Dated between 1969 and 1974, the rarely seen images show them on set filming sketches including The Ministry of Silly Walks, And Now for Something Completely Different and The Attila the Hun Show.

The archive release also includes a 1969 audience research report revealing viewers’ initial reaction to the series and its “delicious sense of the ridiculous”, as well as a memo from the then Head of Comedy requesting the “peculiar titles” be changed.

Shane Allen, BBC Controller Comedy Commissioning, says: “These archives are comedy history Holy Grails! They highlight that long-standing BBC reputation of being the vital place that champions pioneering new talents. The Pythons tore up the rule book of comedy grammar, conventions and traditions, but thankfully the support for creative freedom won the day and has certainly paid off in the long run as audiences continue to celebrate and revere their enormous impact on comedy.”

Direct to Complete BBC Announcement

Also New Online…BBC Broadcasts Lost Monty Python Sketches For 50th Anniversary – Streaming Free, Globally (via Bleeding Cool)

Report About the Monty Python Archive: “Monty Python at 50: A Half-Century of Silly Walks, Edible Props and Dead Parrots” (via The Guardian)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.