The Secret Policeman's Ball (1979) - News Poster

(1979 TV Movie)

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Monty Python: 30 years of near reunions from the comedy troupe

Monty Python fans everywhere woke up on Tuesday to the exciting news of an official reunion.

Since 1983's The Meaning of Life, the surviving members have yet to embark on a proper, official Monty Python project together. However, John Cleese, Michael Palin, Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam and Eric Idle are to reunite for a special stage production.

As Eddie Izzard wrote on Twitter: "Monty Python reforming to do a gig is as big as The Beatles reforming to do a gig."

To mark this monumental comedy moment, Digital Spy takes a look back at 30 years of near-misses, almosts-but-not-quites and other mini-reunions that have led to today's (November 21) press conference.

1983: Yellowbeard

Released shortly after The Meaning of Life, this comedy was written by Graham Chapman, alongside Peter Cook and Python collaborator Bernard McKenna. Centred around Chapman's pirate who is imprisoned for tax evasion, it also starred John Cleese and Eric Idle in minor roles.
See full article at Digital Spy - TV news »

Coldplay and Mumford & Sons to perform 'Secret' show in New York this spring

  • Hitfix
Coldplay and Mumford & Sons to perform 'Secret' show in New York this spring
New York (AP) — The Secret Policeman's Ball is letting America in on the party: The British-based music and comedy festival is coming to New York in March. Coldplay, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Mumford & Sons and Russell Brand are among the acts who have signed on for the event at Radio City Music Hall on March 4. The concert will benefit Amnesty International, as it has since it started back in 1976 with celebrities like John Cleese. Over the years, Bono, Sting and others have participated. This will mark the first time it's being held in New York City....
See full article at Hitfix »

Rob Buckman obituary

Oncologist, writer and broadcaster who investigated medical matters with humour and zest

The oncologist, writer and performer Rob Buckman, who has died aged 63 in his sleep on board a plane, spent last week making a series of short films. We were working on them together, and Rob was his usual irrepressible self, full of good humour, jokes and kindness. On Sunday the whole film crew had lunch in a pub, and Rob left to catch the flight to Toronto on which he died. The films, ironically, are called Top Ten Tips for Health.

The Guardian writer Nancy Banks-Smith described Rob as "one of those exciting scientists in full fizz who look as if they have access to a strong tonic not yet on the market". She was reviewing a film he made in 1981 called Your Own Worst Enemy. He was then suffering from an autoimmune disease called dermatomyositis, in
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Last reel for Miramax as Disney closes studio

From humble origins in the Us rustbelt, the Weinsteins brought foreign and arthouse films to a huge American audience

It was the story of two brothers who promoted concerts in the rustbelt town of Buffalo and dreamed of making it big in the movies.

Bob and Harvey Weinstein went on to reshape Hollywood with their company Miramax, collecting armfuls of Oscars and launching the careers of some of the most influential names in American cinema, including the directors Quentin Tarantino, Steven Soderbergh and Kevin Smith, bringing independent cinema to a wider audience. They sold Miramax to Walt Disney but remained at the helm for more than a decade before chaffing at the corporate bit, falling victim to their own hubris with a slate of big budgets films and quitting in 2005.

Then, this week, the final credits started to roll. Disney began to close Miramax offices as part of a plan
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Policeman's Balls To Celebrate 30 Years At Film Festivals

Policeman's Balls To Celebrate 30 Years At Film Festivals
The 30th anniversary of celebrity charity show The Secret Policeman's Ball is to be celebrated with film festivals in Los Angeles and New York.

Funnyman John Cleese organised the first Ball in 1979 to raise cash for human rights organisation Amnesty International, and there have since been another eight filmed charity events.

The Secret Policeman’s Film Festival will celebrate three decades of comedic and musical performances for Amnesty by over 100 top stars - with a five-week fete taking place in both Los Angeles and New York.

The festival will showcase the multiple films, TV specials, and documentaries that have chronicled The Secret Policeman’s Ball shows, including the uncut U.S. premieres of the three most recent Balls organised by comedian/actor Eddie Izzard.

The shows have brought together the cream of Britain’s comedic performers including former Monty Python cohorts John Cleese, Michael Palin, Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam and Graham Chapman, Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, Rowan Atkinson, Billy Connolly, Izzard, Hugh Laurie and Russell Brand.

The Balls have also featured top musical acts, such as Pete Townshend, Sting, Peter Gabriel, U2 and Eric Clapton, who are all featured performing on film.

All nine Balls will be screened at the festivals, which run from 11 June to the end of July and the two events will culminate with an 11-hour marathon event recreating the experience of Amnesty’s landmark 1986 Conspiracy Of Hope concert at Giants Stadium.

A press release reads, "The screening will follow the exact time-frame of the original show, which took place from 12 noon till 11pm on a Sunday in June."

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