John Cleese 'blacklists' himself from Cambridge Union over Monty Python Adolf Hitler impression

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John Cleese has hit out at
John Cleese has hit out at

John Cleese has "blacklisted" himself from the Cambridge Union for his own impression of Adolf Hitler.

The 82-year-old comedian has pulled out of an appearance later this week after art historian Andrew Graham-Dixon was banned from speaking at Cambridge University after he offended students by mimicking the leader of the Nazi party.

Taking to Twitter, Cleese said: "I was looking forward to talking to students at the Cambridge Union this Friday, but I hear that someone there has been blacklisted for doing an impersonation of Hitler.

"I regret that I did the same on a Monty Python show, so I am blacklisting myself before someone else does.

"I apologise to anyone at Cambridge who was hoping to talk with me, but perhaps some of you can find a venue where woke rules do not apply."

Graham-Dixon has been banned from speaking at Cambridge University's debating society over his impersonation, with the decision confirmed by Cambridge Union president Keir Bradwell.

Responding to the news, the art historian said: "In my speech I caricatured him (Hitler), briefly, paraphrasing HIS crass and insensitive statements about art and race."

But he apologised and insisted he hadn't meant to upset people, adding: "I apologise sincerely to anyone who found my debating tactics and use of Hitler's own language distressing; on reflection I can see that some of the words I used, even in quotation, are inherently offensive."

He insisted his intention was to make the audience understand "that bad taste and bad morality often go hand-in-hand".

Bradwell claimed the union had receive "the largest number" of complaints during his time in Cambridge "by an awfully long way", although he didn't confirm the exact number.

Graham-Dixon added to the BBC: "Mr. Bradwell's implication that I am a racist and anti-Semitic by placing me on his list is utterly rejected and in the context, surprising.

"The speech I gave was a strident attack on Hitler's racism and anti-Semitism."

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