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John Cleese talk on mental health surprises fans

MONTY Python star John Cleese shocked a live audience by appearing to suggest people with depression were not interested in helping themselves recover.


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John Cleese shocked a live audience with his comments on people with depression

During a performance of An Evening With John Cleese, the veteran Fawlty Towers actor, 77, touched on mental and physical health.

The star, pictured above, bemused fans at the Oxford Playhouse when he said: “The people at the very highest level of mental health are interested in getting better but the depressives, the paranoids, the great unbalanced, basically know that they’re at the top of the mole pile and their enemies are responsible for all the problems in the world.

“The key point is the people who most need to change themselves are the ones least interested in doing so.”

I think people were very surprised if not shocked

The comments were made during last Thursday’s show.

One fan said: “I think people were very surprised if not shocked. I was.

“People wanted to know about Monty Python and Fawlty Towers but it was more about the mentally ill.”

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Mental health charities said Cleese’s comments may have needed clarification

Mental health charities said Cleese’s comments may have needed clarification.

Marjorie Wallace, chief executive of SANE, said: “What he seems to have done is highlight what I have called the Catch-22 of serious mental illness – the more ill, disturbed or delusional you are, the less likely you are to seek help for an illness you don’t believe you have.”

A spokesman for Mr Cleese was unavailable.

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