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Comedy Connections

Series 6

Episode 4: Ripping Yarns

Duration: 40 minutes

First broadcast: on BBC One ScotlandLatest broadcast: on BBC Two Northern Ireland

The series charting the history of the best of British comedy investigates Michael Palin and Terry Jones's post-Python parody of pre-war Boys' Own adventure comics, which captured the decline of the British Empire at a time when punk rock offered Anarchy in the UK and the country was facing political unrest.

Ripping Yarns is a neglected gem amongst the many jewels proffered by the genius talents of Jones and Palin - the story of the series having a bittersweet ending, the break-up of their decade-long writing partnership, but also the birth of two incredibly successful solo careers.

Comedy Connections uncovers the fact that the BBC actually wanted a variety show from Michael Palin, but it evolved into Ripping Yarns and how hurt Michael Palin felt when director Terry Hughes took a promotion inside the BBC and left the programme. Terry Jones reveals his regret that Michael Palin only played the straight man parts, and how the ambition of the series - to be like little films - would eventually lead to its downfall, costs leading to the programme being abandoned half-way through the second series.

Including contributions from Michael Palin, Terry Jones, director Terry Hughes, former Head of Light Entertainment Jimmy Gilbert and actors David Leland, Judy Loe, Ken Colley and Charles McKeown. Show less

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