Skip to main content


I’m afraid I mentioned the war

John Cleese in the classic BBC series Fawlty Towers

John Cleese has pulled out of a talk at the Cambridge Union after the 200-year-old debating club announced a “blacklist” of banned speakers. The 82-year-old Monty Python star said he hoped to find another venue “where woke rules do not apply”. Union president Keir Bradwell revealed that he was preparing the list after students complained about TV art historian Andrew Graham-Dixon impersonating Hitler while making a point about how bad Hitler was.

“I was looking forward to talking to students at the Cambridge Union this Friday,” tweeted Cleese, “but I hear that someone there has been blacklisted for doing an impersonation of Hitler. I regret that I did the same on a Monty Python show, so I am blacklisting myself before someone else does.” The union’s website boasts of “defending free speech since 1815”.