John Cleese was offered a seat in the House of Lords – but turned it down because he didn’t want to live in England all year round.
He has revealed that former Liberal Democrat leader Paddy Ashdown made the offer in 1999, following the comedian’s high-profile support for the party. Cleese was a substantial donor and appeared in several party political broadcasts.
In an interview with The Sunday Telegraph, the 71-year-old said: ‘I turned down a peerage actually.
‘Paddy was going to offer me one when he ceased to be leader of the Lib Dems, for political services - not because I was such a wonderful human being, and because I'd helped them [Lib Dems] a lot.
‘But I realised this involved being in England in the winter and I thought that was too much of a price to pay.’
Cleese – who spends much of his time in California – also said that he previously turned down a CBE in 1996 ‘because I think they are silly’.