Miriam Margolyes, 82, slams ‘poisonous’ John Cleese and claims he is ‘sour and irrelevant’ after Fawlty Towers star said he ‘could never be cancelled’
Miriam Margolyes said ‘poisonous’ John Cleese has ‘turned sour and is an irrelevance’ as she spoke in a new interview.
The comedian, 82, reflected on her time at Cambridge University with the Fawlty Towers star, 83, and scathingly branding him a ‘puny tadpole of a person.’
John recently revealed why he could never be cancelled, despite being targeted after he criticised political correctness.
Speaking ahead of her new book, Oh Miriam!: Stories from an Extraordinary Life, Miriam told The Guardian how she was treated with contempt by John and his Monty Python co-star Graham Chapman while at University.
During the early 1960s she performed as part of the student sketch troupe Cambridge Footlights, but was ‘ignored’ as the group’s only woman.
Scathing: Miriam Margolyes, 82, said ‘poisonous’ John Cleese has ‘turned sour and is an irrelevance’ as she spoke in a new interview (pictured in 2021)
Hitting out: The comedian reflected on her time at Cambridge University with the Fawlty Towers star, 83, and scathingly branding him a ‘puny tadpole of a person’
She recalled: ‘I think they thought I was too full of myself because in those days women were literally not allowed to join the club. Graham Chapman and John Cleese were poisonous.
‘John was a brilliant comedian in his day, but something has turned. Like milk, he’s gone sour. He’s an irrelevance… Cleese is a puny tadpole of a person.’
John is best known for co-founding Monty Python and for starring in the British sitcom Fawlty Towers.
In 2020, the British actor sparked backlash for defending J.K. Rowling when a Twitter user demanded that he share his honest opinion on the Harry Potter author.
‘I’m afraid I’m not that interested in trans folks I just hope they’re happy and that people treat them kindly,’ he tweeted.
‘Right now I’m more focussed on threats to democracy in America, the rampant corruption in the UK, the appalling British Press, the revelations about police brutality.’
He then snarkily tweeted: ‘Deep down, I want to be a Cambodian police woman. Is that allowed, or am I being unrealistic?’
He was slammed for his comments by a number of progressive figures, including Queer Eye star Jonathan Van Ness, who accused the comedian of ‘transphobia’.
Oh dear: She said: ‘John was a brilliant comedian in his day, but something has turned. Like milk, he’s gone sour. He’s an irrelevance’ (John pictured in Fawlty Towers)
Appearing on Ben Fordham Live in May, Cleese explained that it’s his ability to do live shows for his fans instead of relying on big commercial networks that’s helped him stay relevant.
‘I don’t get cancelled because I do stage shows…People think to themselves, “I like him, so I’ll buy a ticket”,’ he said.
‘The audience is basically pre-selected to like me, so when I come out they like me and they like the sort of humour I do,’ he continued.
‘I think that people who do the cancelling don’t seem to have much of a sense of humour,’ he told Fordham.
‘And I don’t think people without a sense of humour should cancel stuff that people with a sense of humour enjoy.’