John Cleese steps out for dinner in Chelsea after Graham Norton took aim at him

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John Cleese stepped out for dinner in Chelsea on Wednesday night after Graham Norton took aim at him for speaking out against cancel culture.

The Monty Python star, 82, looked downcast for the outing after presenter Graham, 59, branded him a ‘man of a certain age’ who is ‘now suddenly facing accountability’.

BBC talk show host Graham said free speech is not ‘consequence free’ and that ‘cancel’ culture was the ‘wrong word’ to use – instead saying it should be ‘accountability’. 

Outing: John Cleese stepped out for dinner in Chelsea on Wednesday night after Graham Norton took aim at him for speaking out against cancel culture

Outing: John Cleese stepped out for dinner in Chelsea on Wednesday night after Graham Norton took aim at him for speaking out against cancel culture

John cut a casual figure for his outing in a black coat, grey cable knit jumper and dark jeans as he headed to Manicomio restaurant. 

He completed his dinner look with a blue cap and had on comfortable black trainers.

Norton took a swipe at the Fawlty Towers star on Wednesday describing him as a ‘man of a certain age’ who has said ‘whatever he likes for years’ and is now being held accountable. 

Having his say: The Monty Python star, 82, looked downcast for the outing after presenter Graham, 57, branded him a'man of a certain age' who is'now suddenly facing accountability'

Having his say: The Monty Python star, 82, looked downcast for the outing after presenter Graham, 57, branded him a ‘man of a certain age’ who is ‘now suddenly facing accountability’

Talking about ‘cancel’ culture at the Cheltenham Literature Festival, he said, as reported by the Telegraph: ‘The word is the wrong word. I think the word should be ”accountability”.

‘John Cleese has been very public recently about complaining about what you can’t say.

‘It must be very hard to be a man of a certain age who’s been able to say whatever he likes for years, and now suddenly there’s some accountability.’

Taking aim: BBC talk show host Graham said free speech is not'consequence free' and that'cancel' culture was the'wrong word' to use - instead saying it should be'accountability'

Taking aim: BBC talk show host Graham said free speech is not ‘consequence free’ and that ‘cancel’ culture was the ‘wrong word’ to use – instead saying it should be ‘accountability’

He continued: ‘It’s free speech, but not consequence free. I’m aware of the things I say.’

Cancel culture refers to the ‘cancelling’ of people, brands and other pop culture such as movies and shows over what some deem to be offensive.

The ‘cancelling’ can be in the form of taking someone off television to revoking sponsorship deals, boycotting products and on social media.  

It comes as Monty Python legend Cleese recently told the BBC he would never work for them again – because the broadcaster would ‘cancel’ him in five minutes.

Outfit: John cut a casual figure for his outing in a black coat, grey cable knit jumper and dark jeans as he headed to Manicomio restaurant

Outfit: John cut a casual figure for his outing in a black coat, grey cable knit jumper and dark jeans as he headed to Manicomio restaurant

Cleese said he would turn down any overtures from the corporation because he believed it would either censor or axe him almost immediately.

The Fawlty Towers creator was speaking to the BBC on Radio 4’s Today programme when he was making the remarks.

He said: ‘The BBC have not come to me and said would you like to have some one hour shows, and if they did I would say ”not on your nelly”.

‘I wouldn’t get five minutes into the first show before I would be cancelled or censored.’

Stepping out: He completed his dinner look with a blue cap and had on comfortable black trainers

Stepping out: He completed his dinner look with a blue cap and had on comfortable black trainers

Cleese, who is an outspoken critic of woke culture, is joining GB News to present a show alongside comedian Andrew Doyle.

It is understood it will be in a discussion format looking at issues including ‘wokery’ and ‘cancel culture’ as well as free speech. 

When questioned about his thoughts on the limits of free speech he told presenter Amol Rajan: ‘Somebody once said to me: ‘Everyone’s in favour of free speech, particularly for the ideas that they like.”

Criticism: Norton took a swipe at the Fawlty Towers star on Wednesday describing him as a'man of a certain age' who has said'whatever he likes for years' and is now being held accountable

Criticism: Norton took a swipe at the Fawlty Towers star on Wednesday describing him as a ‘man of a certain age’ who has said ‘whatever he likes for years’ and is now being held accountable

Then responding to whether free speech should extend to those spreading opinions and misinformation about public health matters, he added: ‘If there’s a factual response to something like that, then that should be made.

‘That’s the job, to put the facts out there, and then to have opinions slightly separate and have a proper argument about it, but not to try to avoid a public debate and then try and get yourself through [on] social media.’

In July, Cleese slammed woke culture for having a ‘disastrous’ effect on comedy.

Opinions: Talking about'cancel' culture at the Cheltenham Literature Festival, he said, as reported by the Telegraph :'The word is the wrong word. I think the word should be''accountability''

Opinions: Talking about ‘cancel’ culture at the Cheltenham Literature Festival, he said, as reported by the Telegraph : ‘The word is the wrong word. I think the word should be ”accountability”

Bold: The Monty Python legend, pictured at the Social Democratic Party Conference in Manchester on Saturday, recently said he would turn down a return to the BBC if they asked him

Bold: The Monty Python legend, pictured at the Social Democratic Party Conference in Manchester on Saturday, recently said he would turn down a return to the BBC if they asked him

He told FreedomFest in Las Vegas that he does not believe comedians have the freedom to be funny any more, blasting today’s cancel culture as the ‘death of creativity’.

Cleese said: ‘I think it’s particularly worrying at the moment because you can only create in an atmosphere of freedom, where you’re not checking everything you say critically before you move on.

‘A lot of comedians now are sitting there and when they think of something, they say something like, ‘Can I get away with it? I don’t think so. So and so got into trouble, and he said that, oh, she said that.’ You see what I mean? And that’s the death of creativity.’

Former pals: The pair are pictured together while John appeared on the Graham Norton show previously

Former pals: The pair are pictured together while John appeared on the Graham Norton show previously 

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