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Python back for something completely different

Nobody expects the Monty Python team to re-form. But then again their chief weapon is surprise... surprise and fear... Their two weapons are fear and surprise... and ruthless efficiency... Their three weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency... and an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope...

They may not do the Spanish Inquisition sketch, but the five surviving members of Monty Python are to reunite for the first time in more than 10 years. John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin will get together at an American comedy festival in March.

The festival in Aspen, Colorado, will include a retrospective and career tribute to the troupe, with the comedian Robert Klein moderating a discussion and tossing questions at Python members. It will be filmed by American cable television channel HBO and may be shown in Britain later this year.

It is the first time they have worked together since before the death of Graham Chapman in 1989.

Palin said this week that the get-together, which will include sketches, could spark a reunion of the group: "We've considered getting together before, but there's been this feeling that we aren't quite complete without Graham and it would always be so."

The members have mainly pursued individual projects since making Meaning of Life in 1983 but Palin said that the men still keep in fairly close touch and have "a great feeling of affection" for one another.

"If we have a good time in Aspen, that may just mean that we'd consider a future project - most likely a movie, I would think. That would be our best proposition for a full-scale reunion."