11:48 11 October 2011
John Cleese has attacked the state of comedy in the UK.
The writer and actor, famous for his sitcom Fawlty Towers, told the Telegraph that he was only sent "terrible" scripts by the BBC.
The 71-year-old, who recently admitted to only going back on tour to pay for his latest divorce, said:
"I was sent two scripts by the corporation recently which I was initially very excited about, but then I read them and they were terrible. Very few good opportunities have come my way in this country of late.
The Monty Python legend also revealed that his thoughts on where the BBC has gone wrong in regards to comedy:
"It doesnt mean what it once did. They have lost sight of the fact that the script is the most important thing.
"Twenty years ago, there were 30 or 40 great scriptwriters in the UK most of them at the BBC. Now, there are only seven or eight."
"Shows are getting smaller audiences, as there are so many channels, so writers are paid less. Perhaps, there isnt the incentive to get into the industry.
Last month the star revealed to Fairfax Media that he considers writing to be so much more difficult than acting.
"Obviously I do act sometimes, but I've always thought of myself as a writer. I'm much prouder that I can write than [that] I can act, mainly because there are so many people who can act well, a surprising number.
"Very few people can write well. It's much harder. The irony is, it's much worse pay."
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