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John Cleese brands British press ‘depraved’ and ‘amoral’ during film interview


John Cleese has launched an attack on the media, branding many British newspapers “amoral creatures”.

The Fawlty Towers star was discussing how Twitter and social media had lessened his dependence on newspapers to publicise his work – despite the actor having refrained from tweeting for the last 10 days.

Specifically excluding The Independent, The Guardian and The Daily Mirror from his criticism, he said: “The rest are the most appalling, depraved, disgusting, amoral creatures you could find anywhere outside of prison.”

In an interview with The Guardian to promote his new film, the Disney cartoon Planes, Cleese added: “And of course many of them are going to be inside a prison soon.”

Cleese, 73, has been increasingly active on Twitter following his costly divorce from his third wife Alyce Faye Eichelberger in 2009.

Last week, he revealed he was writing his autobiography in deal struck with Random House last October. “You have to tell the whole tale through words and that’s taken me a little time to do, to feel that I’m beginning to grasp how to do that,” he said.

The actor, who married his fourth wife, 42-year-old Jennifer Wade, last year was first married to his Fawlty Towers co-star Connie Booth, but following their 1978 split after a decade together, went on to marry Barbara Trentham in 1981.

Cleese yesterday paid tribute to Trentham who died this week from complications relating to leukaemia, aged 68: “Barbara was a wonderfully kind person and a superbly talented artist. She will be dearly missed.”

He and Trentham, also an actor, were married for nine years. He went on to marry psychotherapist Eichelberger in 1992 and the pair divorced five years ago.

Last month, together with his fellow members of Monty Python, Cleese lost a legal battle to prevent film producer Mark Forstater – said to be the “seventh Python” – from accessing profits from the hit spin-off musical Spamalot.

The actor, who is not usually outspoken on political issues, has supported the Liberal Democrats since switching his allegiance from the Labour party to the SDP on its formation in 1981.