Eric Idle (76) had to stand on his own two feet from a young age onwards. His father died when he was young and he was sent to boarding school. His mother had to work a lot to keep them afloat. He developed his sense of humour at school, as a weapon against bullies and boredom. 

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Idle learnt a lot at boarding school and was offered a place at Cambridge University, where he met colleagues and fellow comics John Cleese (79) and Graham Chapman (†48). Whilst working on a children's programme together in 1969 they founded Monty Python and became amazingly successful. 

The work didn't stop for Eric Idle when Monty Python ended

Eric Idle worked alone and with other cult comedians after Monty Python finished. He wrote numerous books and worked on the film All You Need Is Cash, a spoof documentary about the band The Rutles (based on The Beatles), with the legendary Saturday Night Live team. 

The now seventy-six-year-old has hosted countless radio shows and has had numerous guest appearances in TV series and films and has worked with South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone. He was the first member of Monty Python to appear on The Simpsons. 

Eric Idle is still a success today 

Eric Idle performed Always Look on the Bright Side of Life, which he wrote for the 1979 hit Monty Python's Life of Brian, at the 2012 Olympic Games closing ceremony. 

He wrote the stage show Monty Python Live (Mostly), which sold out in an incredible forty-three seconds! What had originally been planned as a one-night special, became ten nights to meet demand. He appeared in the film The Entire Universe in 2016.

His autobiography Always Look on the Bright Sie of Life was released in 2018. Eric Idle has been married to his second wife Tania Kosevich since 1981 and they have one daughter. He has a son from his first marriage.