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John Cleese bans his own wine show in UK

Former Monty Python star John Cleese has made TV wine guide but banned it from being broadcast in the UK because he doubts viewers would be interested.

The 60 minute show is called John Cleese’s Wine for the Confused. The actor – who does a short sketch in which he plays a waiter and his unfortunate guest – visits wineries near his Santa Barbara home and tries to demystify the business of buying, storing and serving wine.

Cleese now says he did not want the programme shown in Britain because of its purely local focus.

‘It’s very, very specific to California. In fact, it’s even narrower than that. Every single one of the wineries I visited was within about an hour of Santa Barara. You don’t want people switching on and hearing about a lot of wine they’re not particularly interested in.’

The show’s international distributors were not of the same mind. The company wanted to sell it to Britain but Cleese’s agent forbade all UK sales. ‘Our first potential clients were from the UK,’ a spokesman said.

Wine for the Confused has already been sold to Scandinavia, the Netherlands, Australia and Japan.

Cleese hasn’t ruled out doing a similar show for the UK. He says he is open to offers ‘to do something similar in Europe.’

Written by Matthew Hemming

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