TV Review: Holy Flying Circus

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BBC Four, 9pm, last night

Monty Python’s Life of Brian is still easily one of the funniest films ever made, but at the time of its release it attracted nothing but controversy.

This dramatisation of the furore which surrounded the film started off with a very Pythonesque address from Jesus, advising those of an easily offended nature that most of what they were about to see was made up... like the bible.

What followed was a very silly and very fantastical account of the protests and problems that followed, packed with endless Python references and plenty of sly digs at BBC Four.

The cast were landed a tricky task of playing the most famous comedy troupe of all time, and the results were mixed, although both Charles Edwards as Michael Palin and Darren Boyd as John Cleese were superb, while Steve Punt was Eric Idle.

It was all suitably irreverent, from jokes about Life of Brian Christmas Crackers and copycat crucifixions to the cast playing several different characters and surreal animations Terry Gilliam would have been proud of.