Monty Python to reunite to receive gong


June 18, 2010 Updated Aug 19, 2009 at 11:11 AM EDT

The five surviving members of Britain's famed Monty Python comedy troupe are to reunite for a 40th anniversary bash in New York, where they will be presented with a BAFTA Special Award, the academy said on Wednesday.

The Monty Python team, which shot to international fame in the late 1960s and 1970s with their surreal and satirical humour, will receive the award on October 15, said the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.

The gong marks their outstanding contribution to film and television.

The five -- John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin -- are all due to attend. The sixth Python, Graham Chapman, died in 1989.

"I believe these trinkets are more important than people think," Cleese said.

The event would be co-hosted by BAFTA and the Independent Film Channel to mark the 40 years since the sketch show "Monty Python's Flying Circus" was first broadcast on October 5, 1969.

"We're absolutely delighted to co-host this event celebrating the 40th anniversary of the incomparable Monty Python," said BAFTA chairman David Parfitt.

"It promises to be a rare and memorable occasion bringing the hugely talented Monty Python team together again, and we feel that the Special Award is a fitting tribute to this much-loved and singularly British institution."

BAFTA last honoured the Monty Python team in 1987 when they were presented with the Michael Balcon Award for Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema.

Previous Special Award recipients include Audrey Hepburn, Judi Dench, Richard Attenborough, Billy Connolly, Maggie Smith, Julie Walters and James bond producers EON.

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