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Comedy legend John Cleese to pen memoir for Random House

Random House Announces Global Acquisition

Contact: Tammy Blake

(October 8, 2012, New York, NY) The Random House Group (UK) and Random House Inc. (US) today jointly announced the global acquisition of the autobiography of legendary English actor and comedian, John Cleese.  As yet untitled, the book will be published simultaneously in the UK by Random House Books and in the U.S. by Crown Archetype in hardcover, ebook and audio formats.  A publication date has not yet been set.

The deal was struck by Susan Sandon, Managing Director of Cornerstone Publishing in the UK, and Tina Constable, Senior Vice President and Publisher, Crown Archetype in the US, with Phil McIntyre of Phil McIntyre Entertainment.  Random House Books Publishing Director Nigel Wilcockson will edit and publish the book in the UK, and the US editor will be Rick Horgan, Executive Editor, Crown Archetype.  Random House UK will represent foreign right sales.

From gangly adolescent (he was 6’ at the age of 12) to giant of the comedy world, John Cleese has led an extraordinary life and enjoyed astonishing acclaim. Now he plans to tell the inside story of how a shy child from Weston-super-Mare, who dabbled briefly with teaching and law, went on to become one of the most feted writers and performers of the past fifty years.  His autobiography, like the man himself, promises to be both hilariously frank and frankly hilarious.

Said John Cleese, “It’s the perfect moment to look back on my life in anticipation of the next fifty years.”

Said Susan Sandon, “Comedy legends’ autobiographies really don’t come much bigger than John Cleese’s. Enduringly popular, brilliantly witty and impressively erudite, he is a towering figure in every sense of the word. His memoir will be a major publishing event.”

Said Tina Constable, “We are thrilled to be publishing John Cleese’s own account of his extraordinary life.  He is one of the most inventive, accomplished, and recognizable comedic talents of our era, and we know his legions of fans around the world will flock to his book.”

Born in 1939, John Cleese joined the legendary Cambridge Footlights group in the early 1960s and then went on to write for the BBC. After stints on I’m Sorry, I’ll Read That Again on radio and The Frost Report on television he joined Graham Chapman, Michael Palin, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam as a writer and performer in Monty Python’s Flying Circus (1969). He left after three series, but continued to collaborate with the other Pythons on such films as Monty Python and The Holy Grail (1975) and Life of Brian (1979). With his then wife Connie Booth, he created and starred in the classic TV comedy Fawlty Towers. He has appeared in the James Bond and Harry Potter films, co-starred in A Fish Called Wanda (1988), and also established his own production company, Video Arts. Currently professor-at-large at Cornell University in New York, he most recently toured with a very successful one-man show.

Random House Books is an imprint of The Random House Group in the UK; Crown Archetype is an imprint of The Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc in the US. Random House is owned by Bertelsmann AG, the international media company.


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