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Woke war Fawlty Towers star John Cleese to front new Channel 4 series on cancel culture

Cleese will "set forth into the minefield of cancel culture to explore why a new 'woke' generation is trying to rewrite the rules on what can and can't be said"

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Comedian John Cleese

Comedian John Cleese

Comedian John Cleese

John Cleese is to explore cancel culture in a new show for Channel 4, it has been announced.

Cleese (81) - best known for comedy classics Fawlty Towers and Monty Python - will "set forth into the minefield of cancel culture to explore why a new 'woke' generation is trying to rewrite the rules on what can and can't be said".

"Cancel culture" has gained popularity in recent years and is the phenomenon of calling out, or "cancelling" people or brands for perceived offensive behaviour.

In John Cleese: Cancel Me, the comedian will ask whether it is possible to make good comedy without causing offence, and will meet some famous faces who have found themselves on the receiving end of cancel culture.

He will also meet those doing the cancelling, to investigate what is driving them.

Cleese has previously criticised the "stifling" effect of political correctness on creativity - saying there is no such thing as a "woke joke".

Last year, he blasted the BBC when UKTV, which is BBC-owned, temporarily removed an episode of Fawlty Towers over "racial slurs" and "outdated language".

Addressing his new series, he said: "I'm delighted to have a chance to find out, on camera, about all the aspects of so-called political correctness.

"There's so much I really don't understand, like: how the impeccable idea of 'Let's all be kind to people' has been developed in some cases ad absurdum.

In 2019, Cleese was criticised for saying London is "not really an English city any more". He was accused of racism online, while mayor of London Sadiq Khan said the comments made him sound like his character from Fawlty Towers.

He defended his comments, saying they were "culturalist" rather than racist.

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