Comedian John Cleese is joining British “free speech” channel GB News.
Cleese is hosting a series on the channel next year, GB News has confirmed.
Would John Cleese return to the BBC?
“Not on your nelly” because “I wouldn’t get five minutes into the first show before I’d been cancelled or censored”.
Instead, this great British comedy legend is joining @GBNEWS.
The right call, sir.
— Dan Wootton (@danwootton) October 10, 2022
GB News confirmed today that actor, comedian, writer, and producer John Cleese will host a new series on the channel next year.
The programme will feature John in conversation with his choice of guests on a wide range of areas that interest him. Mr Cleese revealed the news this morning in an interview with journalist Amol Rajan on BBC Radio 4’s Today Show.
The new show marks John’s return to UK television after a three-year hiatus. He last appeared on British screens in the sitcom Hold the Sunset in 2019.
Cleese said GB News is not a right-wing channel — but “a free speech channel.”
“I was approached and I didn’t know who they were,” he explained to presenter Amol Rajan on Monday.
“I don’t know much about modern television because I’ve pretty much given up on it – English television.”
He added: “Then I met one or two of the people concerned and had a dinner with them and I liked them very much.
“And what they said was, ‘people say it’s a right-wing channel [but] it’s a free speech channel’.”
Cleese has previously blasted cancel culture calling it a “tragedy.”
Earlier this year, Cleese, 82, described cancel culture as a “tragedy,” telling the attendees at the FreedomFest conference in Las Vegas, where he was keynote speaker, that comedians didn’t have the freedom to be funny anymore and that comedy films were now “aimed at young men because they’re the ones who go to the cinema on Friday night.” Last year, it was reported that Cleese was to front a new series called Cancel Me on Brit network Channel 4 to investigate cancel culture and what it means for comedy. In November, Cleese appeared to cancel himself when he pulled the plug on an appearance at Cambridge University after a visiting speaker was banned for making a Hitler impression, saying that he was “blacklisting myself before someone else does” and urging organizers to “find a venue where woke rules do not apply.”
Cleese describes himself as an “old-fashioned liberal.”
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