John Cleese has revealed that he turned down an offer to take part in I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!
The Monty Python comedian said that producers were willing to offer him £200,000 to appear on the programme, but he insisted that he would never be tempted to star on reality TV.
Cleese told the Sunday Mercury: “I was asked to do a reality show a few months ago. I forget which – it might have been the jungle one or perhaps Celebrity Root Canal!
“I just laughed, then asked how much they were offering out of curiosity. It was £200,000 but I would never agree to one of those shows. That would mean the collapse of western civilisation.”
The 71-year-old also admitted that he is not a fan of the current state of British television and compared it unfavourably to the TV of his youth.
“When I was growing up, we had the best television in the world,” he said. “Now it’s as bad as it is everywhere else, and I don’t particularly want to participate in that.
“I don’t really watch TV these days, except live sport. There’s nothing much that appeals to me. I would rather read a book.”
Cleese went on to add: “There is always a filter when it comes to accepting work. I call it the EQ – the embarrassment quota. I will only do embarrassing things if there is a lot of money involved and people won’t really know about it.
“Some people ask me to do ads and I think, ‘I don’t really want to sell potato crisps,’ but I am very happy to do the commercials for the AA because I think it’s an extraordinarily impressive organisation and has been for decades.”