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Archive: Birthdays.

Comedian and writer Eric Idle, 60: Born in SouthShields, Co Durham, in 1943, the Monty Python comedian was only two when his father, a RAF serviceman, was killed in a car crash. Sent as a boarder to Royal Wolverhampton School in 1950, Idle proved an intelligent pupil winning a place to Pembroke College, Cambridge in 1962. As a member of Cambridge Footlights, the noted breeding ground for British comedians, he met future Monty Python members John Cleese and Graham Chapman. After graduating, Idle took to the stage and showed his talent for writing with his commissions including 'spontaneous and funny ad-libs for David Frost'. In 1969, he and his Footlights friends launched Monty Python's Flying Circus. Praised by critics, this irreverent and often surreal brand of comedy and satire shown on BBC1 from 1969-73 proved hugely popular and generated five films. A key member of the Python team remembered for his 'nudge, nudge, wink, wink' sketch catchphrase, Idle is also the only Python to have had a song in the charts. Sung by Idle playing the philosophical victim of crucifixion in the Life of Brian, Always Look on the Bright Side of Life has become established as a classic example of gallows humour.

Other Birthdays: Composer Sir Richard Rodney Bennett, 67; former Prime Minister John Major, 60; actress Julie Goodyear, 58; American actor Christopher Lambert, 46; Director-General of the National Trust Fiona Reynolds, 45; Dutch footballer Marc Overmars, 30; American tennis player Jennifer Capriati, 27.

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Eric Idle is 60 today
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Mar 29, 2003
Words:252
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