His mother, Norah Barron Sanderson ,  was a health visitor , and his father, Ernest Idle,   served in the Royal Air Force during World War II, only to be killed in a hitch-hiking accident shortly after the war.
At this time, the school was a charitable foundation dedicated to the education and maintenance of children who had lost one or both parents. I got used to dealing with groups of boys and getting on with life in unpleasant circumstances and being smart and funny and subversive at the expense of authority.
Perfect training for Python. Despite this, he disliked other sports and would sneak out of school every Thursday afternoon to the local cinema.
Idle was eventually caught watching the X-rated film BUtterfield 8 suitable for audiences aged 16 years and over under the contemporary film certificates and stripped of his prefecture , though by that time he was head boy. Idle had already refused to be senior boy in the school cadet force, as he supported the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and had participated in the yearly Aldermaston March. Tim Brooke-Taylor and Bill Oddie auditioned me for the Footlights smoker, and that led to me discovering about and getting into the Footlights, which was great.
He became Footlights President in and was the first to allow women to join the club. Terry Gilliam provided animations for the show. The show's cast also included comic actors David Jason and Denise Coffey. Idle also appeared as guest in some episodes of the television series At Last the Show , which co-featured Cleese and Chapman. Monty Python —, [ edit ] Further information: Monty Python Idle wrote for Python mostly by himself, at his own pace, although he sometimes found it difficult in having to present material to the others and make it seem funny without the back-up support of a partner.
However, he also says that Idle was an independent person and worked best on his own. Idle himself admitted this was sometimes difficult: And they were not the most un-egotistical of writers, either.
A number of his sketches involve extended monologues for example the customer in the "Travel Agency" sketch who won't stop talking about his unpleasant experiences with holidays , and he would frequently spoof the unnatural language and speech patterns of television presenters. Unlike Palin, Idle is said to be the master of insincere characters, from the David Frost -esque Timmy Williams, to small-time crook Stig O'Tracy, who tries to deny the fact that organised crime master Dinsdale Piranha nailed his head to the floor.
The second-youngest member of the Pythons, Idle was closest in spirit to the students and teenagers who made up much of Python's fanbase. Post-Python career —present [ edit ] Eric Idle in After the success of Python in the early s, all six members pursued solo projects. This ran for two seasons from to and involved Idle performing sketches and links to records, with himself playing nearly all the multi-tracked parts. RWT was 'Britain's smallest television network'.
The name was a parody of London Weekend Television , the independent television franchise contractor that provided Londoners with their ITV services at weekends; Rutland had been England's smallest county, but had recently been 'abolished' in an administrative shake-up. To make the joke complete, the programme went out on a weekday. George Harrison made a guest appearance on one episode.
The band became a popular phenomenon, especially in the U. Idle appeared in the film as "Dirk McQuickly" the Paul McCartney -styled character of the group , as well as the main commentator, while Innes appeared as "Ron Nasty" the band's stand-in for John Lennon. Idle wrote and directed the Rutles comeback in for a live show Rutlemania!
In , he appeared in the U. In , he appeared as Dr. In , he reprised the role in the short-lived second incarnation of the Journey into Imagination ride at Epcot, replacing Figment and Dreamfinder as the host. Due to an outcry from Disney fans, the attraction was reworked in , reintroducing Figment into the ride while also retaining Idle's role as Nigel Channing.
In , he voiced Rincewind the "Wizzard" in a computer adventure game based on Terry Pratchett 's Discworld novels. In , he reprised his role as Rincewind for the game's sequel , and composed and sang its theme song, "That's Death". In , Idle appeared in the lead role in the poorly received film Burn Hollywood Burn.
That same year, he also provided the voice of Devon, a dragon, in Warner Bros. He has also made three appearances on The Simpsons as famous documentarian Declan Desmond , so far the only appearance on the show by a Python.
He has also acted as narrator of the AudioNovel version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl and Waddlesworth the parrot in Dalmatians and the video game of the same name. The stage performances consisted largely of music from Monty Python episodes and films, along with some original post-Python material. In , Idle released The Greedy Bastard Diary, a book detailing the things the cast and crew encountered during the three-month tour.
The medieval production tells the story of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table as they journey on their quest for the Holy Grail. Idle's play What About Dick? Russell Brand also joined the cast. The play was made available for digital download on 13 November A Comic Tour of America, published in February Idle also wrote the book and co-wrote the music and lyrics for the musical Monty Python's Spamalot , based on the film Monty Python and the Holy Grail. It premiered in Chicago before moving to Broadway, where it received the Tony Award for Best Musical of the —05 season.
In a poll to find "The Comedians' Comedian" UK , he was voted 21 in the top 50 greatest comedy acts ever by fellow comedians and comedy insiders. It starts as follows: How does the ant get it on? Do ants have it away, say three times a day, Is it once a week sex, or p'raps none? Idle, his fellow Pythons, and assorted family and friends performed the song at Graham Chapman 's memorial service.
Idle performed the song at the closing ceremony of the London Olympic Games on 12 August  and as the farewell song of the last show of the Pythons at the O2 arena, 20 July The song was later released, but did poorly in the charts.
However, when "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" was adopted as a football chant in the late s, Idle's then neighbour Gary Lineker suggested Idle re-record and release the popular track. With help from Radio 1 breakfast show host Simon Mayo , who gave the song regular airplay and also used the chorus within a jingle, it became a hit, some 12 years after the song's original appearance in Life of Brian, reaching number 3 in the UK charts and landing Idle a set on Top of the Pops in October He recorded a special version of the song for Mayo's own use on air "Come on Simon, get another song on now; why don't you put on a nice Cliff Richard record?
Idle presented Mayo with a model human foot, akin to the one used in the Monty Python title sequence, as a thank you gift for promoting the song. The song contains 14 uses of that expletive. Idle wrote the lyrics and book for Spamalot , collaborating with John Du Prez on much of the music. The original Broadway theatre production was nominated for 14 Tony Awards and won three: Idle himself performed during this minute oratorio, along with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and members of the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir.
The composer, John Du Prez , was also present. Soloists were the same as in the Toronto performance, but the accompanying chorus was made up of members of New York City's Collegiate Chorale. The show was revised and expanded for a tour of Australia and New Zealand in , including two sell-out nights at the Sydney Opera House.
Buddy Holly , released 6 September His first marriage was in to actress Lyn Ashley , with whom he had one son, Carey born , before their divorce in He has been married to his second wife, Tania Kosevich, since The couple have a daughter, Lily born An asteroid , Ericidle , is named in his honour.