JOHN Cleese is entertainment royalty, with an incredible list of TV credentials ranging from television shows and movies.
But despite being a well-loved public figure he’s sparked controversy when he claimed London “is not an English city any more.” Find out everything below.
What comments did John Cleese make about London that sparked controversy?
John sparked controversy after claiming that London “is not an English city anymore.”
The comic, 79, was echoing comments he made nearly a decade ago that also left critics fuming.
Tweeting to his 5.6million followers, he wrote: “Some years ago I opined that London was not really an English city anymore.
“Since then, virtually all my friends from abroad have confirmed my observation.
“So there must be some truth in it… I note also that London was the UK city that voted most strongly to remain in the EU.”
Many took to social media to slam his opinion, including fellow comedian Dom Joly and Rick Edwards.
He even elicited a comment from the Mayor of London himself Sadiq Khan who retaliated: “These comments make John Cleese sound like he’s in character as Basil Fawlty”.
Did John Cleese defend himself?
Following backlash online, Cleese defended his stance in a series of follow-up tweets.
Cleese, who last year moved to the Caribbean island of Nevis, wrote: “It might interest those people who seem to think my remarks about London are racist as opposed to culturalist, to consider that what I like about spending time in Nevis.
Culturalist can be defined as someone who “emphasises the importance of culture in determining individual behaviour and the way in which society functions”.
Responding to comments that “you aren’t allowed to prefer one culture over another”, Cleese added: “I think it’s legitimate to prefer one culture to another.
“For example, I prefer cultures that do not tolerate female genital mutilation.
“Will this be considered racist by all those who hover, eagerly hoping that someone will offend them – on someone else’s behalf, naturally.”
How old is John Cleese and what’s his net worth?
John Cleese is a 79-year-old actor, comedian and producer.
Born in Somerset in October 1939, John studied at Cambridge where he perfected his skills as an entertainer.
It’s been reported that his family surname was originally Cheese but John’s father changed it due to embarrassment when enlisting for the British Army during the First World War.
He has a reported net worth of £7million ($10million) thanks mainly to his long career in film and television.
How many episodes of Fawlty Towers did John Cleese write?
John co-wrote all twelve episodes of the show with his then wife and co-star Connie Booth.
Despite winning three Baftas in it’s time and topping the British Film Institute’s list of 100 Greatest British Television Programmes in 2000, the show only ran for two series.
Both seasons contained only six episodes each, which both Cleese and Booth maintained was to preserve the quality of the script.
Between the first series in 1975 and the second in 1979 the couple’s marriage had ended, though they continued to collaborate together on the follow-up season.
What is John Cleese up to now?
Although John has had a very long and extensive film career, most recently he has been predominantly lending his voice to animated movies.
For example in 2018’s Charming in which he voiced the role of The Fairy Godmother.
That same year he starred in BBC’s Hold the Sunset as Phil as well as the ABC sitcom Speechless in which he had a special guest role as Martin, the father of Minnie Driver‘s character Maya.
In 2019 you’ll be able to hear him as Otto Von Walrus in Arctic Justice: Thunder Squad.
What has John Cleese starred in?
John Cleese is best known for his comedy work in Monty Python and Fawlty Towers.
He won a Best Entertainment Performance Bafta for his performance as Basil Fawlty in the popular sitcom.
John reunited with surviving members of the Monty Python clan for a sold-out reunion tour in 2014.
He first came to prominence in The Frost Report in the sixties before the start of Monty Python.
The actor also landed roles in several high-profile sequels including Shrek 2, The Pink Panther 2 and Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle.
He’s also known for A Fish Called Wanda, Clockwise and the James Bond films The World Is Not Enough and Die Another Day.
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Who is the John Cleese’s wife?
John married Connie Booth in 1968, three years before they welcomed Cynthia, their only child but they divorced in 1978.
He later became a father for a second time upon the birth of Camilla to second wife Barbara Trentham (1981-1990).
John has since remarried a further two times, first to Alyce Eichelberger from 1992 until 2008, and now with jewellery designer and fourth wife Jennifer Wade.