Miriam Margolyes has criticised John Cleese for being “poisonous” and “irrelevant”.
The Harry Potter actor reflected on her time performing alongside Cleese and other future Monty Python stars in the 1962 Footlights show at Cambridge University.
Speaking to the Guardian, Margolyes said she was “completely ignored” by the rest of the comedy troupe, despite getting laughs from the audience.
Asked if she ever approached them about their behaviour towards her, Margoyles said: “No, I was too crushed. I think they thought I was too full of myself because in those days women were literally not allowed to join the club.
“Graham Chapman and John Cleese were poisonous. John was a brilliant comedian in his day, but something has turned. Like milk, he’s gone sour. He’s an irrelevance.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Margolyes described Cleese as a “puny tadpole of a person”, but had some compliments for other members of the group.
“Michael Palin is completely different,” she added. “He’s a darling, a special man. And Eric Idle is lovely – a friend of mine. He’s incredibly intelligent and very funny.”
Cleese is set to reprise his role of Basil Fawlty in an upcoming reboot of Fawlty Towers, where he’ll star alongside his daughter Camilla Cleese.
As per a description, the series will “explore how Cleese’s over the top, cynical and misanthropic Basil Fawlty navigates the modern world”.
Cleese is also set to host a show on GB News later this year. Speaking about the decision to host a show for the channel, the comedian said: “For two reasons; one, they asked me to; and two, they want programming for viewers who are completely out of touch, a much-neglected demographic. So stay out of touch with me.”