Michael Palin, Terry Jones and fans celebrate life of Graham at comedian’s favourite Highgate hang-out
He was not the Messiah, he was a very naughty boy, as the unofficial blue plaque in honour of Graham Chapman quite accurately stated.
The British Comedy Society plaque was unveiled on the side of a building where the Monty Python star spent a lot of his time, the Angel pub, in Highgate, north London.
Fellow Pythons Michael Palin and Terry Jones joined Barry Cryer and Carol Cleveland to raise a glass. “This was Graham’s manor and Graham was a lovely guy,” said Palin. “I spent many happy times with him, most of which I forget. Highgate was his patch and he should be celebrated because he was a very good, brilliant, funny, nice, wise, kind man, who occasionally drank too much.”
Chapman, who played Brian Cohen in Monty Python’s Life of Brian, died aged 48 in 1989.
His friend and parrot sketch co-writer John Cleese memorably gave the eulogy at his memorial service where he joked: “Good riddance to him, the freeloading bastard, I hope he fries.”
A clip of that will soon be seen in a new and appropriately irreverent film about Chapman, called A Liar’s Autobiography – The Untrue Story Of Monty Python’s Graham Chapman.
The film, based on Chapman’s book, is to be screened at the BFI London Film Festival next month. It used 14 different animation studios, and audio from Chapman himself.
The memorial was organised by Chapman’s family and friends after English Heritage dropped its plans for an official blue plaque.
Cryer said: “We did an awful lot of writing together, but also an awful lot of drinking together. I think the pub is the perfect place to put the plaque. Very Graham, very silly.”