John Cleese turned down I'm A Celeb...
- Bang Showbiz
- 17 January 2011
'Fawlty Towers' legend John Cleese turned down £200,000 to go on 'I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here!' after refusing to star on tacky reality TV shows
John Cleese turned down £200,000 to appear on 'I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here!'.
The 71-year-old comedy legend - best-known for his role as Basil Fawlty in 'Fawlty Towers' - explained accepting the mammoth fee to feature on the ITV1 reality show would be akin to the "collapse of Western civilisation".
He said: "I was asked to do a reality show a few months ago. I forget which one it was, 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."
After saying he would be far too embarrassed to appear on a show like 'I'm A Celeb...' the comic actor criticised British TV, which he believes was once the "best in the world".
John added to the Sunday Mercury newspaper: "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.
"When I was growing up, we had the best television in the world. Now it's as bad as it is everywhere else, and I don't particularly want to participate in that."