Lost TV episodes starring pre-Monty Python John Cleese and Graham Chapman to be aired

The At Last The 1948 Show episodes are to be screened in December

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The Independent Culture

Lost TV episodes starring John Cleese and Graham Chapman before their Monty Python days have been unearthed after almost five decades.

The comedians performed together in At Last The 1948 Show, a surrealist sketch series that ran for 13 episodes in the late Sixties.

Python fans will be excited by the news, as the long-lost episodes were some of Cleese and Chapman's first TV appearances.

They were discovered in late TV interviewer Sir David Frost's archives and are set to be aired for the first time since 1967, the British Film Institute has said.

The episodes were on reels of 16mm film and had been filmed directly from a television screen.

Famous Python catchphrase "And now for something completely different" originated on At Last, which also featured the "Four Yorkshiremen" sketch for the first time.

 

Both episodes will be presented by Cleese at the BFI Southbank on Sunday 7 December as part of Missing Believed Wiped, its annual celebration of newly-recovered TV programmes.

"This latest recovery is a crucial find," said Dick Fiddy, the BFI consultant who found the tapes. "It represents a key moment in the history of British television comedy featuring the combined talents of some of its greatest exponents.

"These gifted comedians, all in their 20s and 30s, were let off the leash and allowed to experiment with style and content, resulting in shows which have had an enduring influence on comedy worldwide."

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