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Friday, October 8, 1999 Published at 16:49 GMT 17:49 UK

Three decades of Python

BBC News Online marks the 30th anniversary of this ground-breaking series.

And now for something completely different?

Monty Python's Flying Circus is arguably the most influential comedy series ever broadcast. However, when the show first hit British TV screens on 5 October 1969, its anarchic, surreal style was not entirely without precedent.

The birth of Python

The story of Monty Python begins in the hallowed halls of Britain's most illustrious seats of learning - the universities of Oxford and Cambridge.

Nudge, nudge, wink, wink. Say no more!
Monty Python's Flying Circus has been elevated to cult status since it first transmission in 1969 - but as well as enjoying their fair share of adoration, its members have also been demonised for their ground-breaking brand of humour.
Pythons that slithered away
In the 30 years since the end of its Python its six-man combo have attained almost God-like comedy status but their three main, talented collaborators have not received the full recognition they deserve.
Python's long shadow
Despite carving out tremendously successful solo careers - the former members of Monty Python have never been quite able to escape the enduring popularity of the Flying Circus.
Life after Python
Monty Python's Flying Circus spawned much more than unforgettable comedy - it also brought six separate performers into the limelight, each of which were to make their own individual impact on the arts, media and entertainment in the years ahead.
The US love affair with Python
Tom Brook looks at the cult of Monty Python in America.
Pictures from the Circus
Monty Python in pictures.

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