Pythons' relief at reunion hit

This Is Lancashire: Terry Jones, Eric Idle, Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam and John Cleese preparing for their live show Terry Jones, Eric Idle, Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam and John Cleese preparing for their live show

Michael Palin has spoken of his relief after Monty Python's new live reunion show was deemed a big success.

The stars won over critics and fans when they kicked off 10 shows at London's O2 Arena.

Michael, 71, told the Daily Mirror: "I am immensely relieved. I thought the first night was going to be the difficult night, things had to work.

"This was the night we had to prove there was a point to doing the show and it wasn't just a cynical exercise in making money, but that we could also entertain."

He added: "It worked well because we enjoyed it. If it was going to work we had to enjoy it. It didn't have to be a duty or something we were forced to do."

The shows - starring John Cleese, Michael Palin, Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones - were dedicated to the late Python star Graham Chapman, who died of cancer in 1989.

Eric said: "Graham will be p****d he wasn't here and he would have been p****d probably too!"

Choreographer Arlene Phillips admitted that the dress rehearsals were "ragged", while Eric told the newspaper that some parts only came together hours before the show started.

He said: "It is always a worry because there are so many cues. You are in the hands of people cueing words, like the llama song, we only got that right this afternoon. If you do your joke and it is not there, you are f***ed. Then it was delightful now and again, we would catch each other's eye and break up. And that was fun."

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