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Last Updated: Sunday, 9 September 2007, 17:41 GMT 18:41 UK
Python pilgrims keep up the fun
Python fans let their hair down at 'Castle Anthrax'

There was no shortage of knights, cardinals and bearded ladies around the grounds of Doune Castle as fans marked the third annual Monty Python Day.

Built by Robert Stewart in the 14th Century, the keep appeared as Castle Anthrax in the 1975 film Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

Since then, thousands of devout fans have made their way to the castle, outside Stirling.

Tickets for Sunday's event were restricted to 500.

Fans who made their way to the jamboree of Python-themed silliness, took part in a coconut conga and the Python Idle talent competition.

Also in attendance was original cast member Carol Cleveland.

There's an amazing legacy of people that follow Monty Python
Nick Finnigan
Historic Scotland

Coconut shells, which were used by characters in the film to mimic the sound of horses, were a feature as Python pilgrims showed up to clip-clop their way about the grounds.

Billed as the "silliest yet", dozens of actors performed scenes from the film and the TV series, including the dead parrot sketch, at key locations around the castle.

The first Monty Python Day was held at Doune Castle, six miles north-west of Stirling, in 2005 to mark the 30th anniversary of the film.

Nick Finnigan, of Historic Scotland, which hosts the event, said: "For the first one, we made it an open public event, but 1,400 turned up.

Doune Castle
Thousands of fans have made their way to Doune Castle over the years

"It was fantastic, but very anarchic, so we've limited this year's event to 500 tickets, and we're delighted that we're sold out.

"There's an amazing legacy of people that follow Monty Python, including children.

"We find that we're getting cases where there's an 11-year-old boy coming out and being able to say verbatim a 15 minute sketch.

"Clearly there's a lot of interest going on to a next generation of fans".

Jo Selwood, 28, who was dressed as Tim the Enchanter from Holy Grail, attended the World Coconut Orchestra in London earlier in the year.

She told the BBC Scotland news website: "I wouldn't miss it for the world. It's a chance to be a geek in the company of other geeks."

Although the event has only been running for three years, the castle's popularity with Python fans is credited with attracting up to a third of its 25,000 annual visitors.

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