England

Monty Python's Life of Brian in first Bournemouth showing

Life of Brian Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Life of Brian proved more popular than a Judean People's Front, but authorities at the time were less keen

Monty Python's Life of Brian will get its first ever screening in Bournemouth after a 35-year stand-off with censors.

Distributors would not release the film unless it was given an AA certificate, but in 1980 the town slapped an X rating on the legendary comedy.

Adrian Cox, who wanted to put on a screening for his birthday, begged censors to reclassify the film.

They agreed Brian can now be considered less of a naughty boy and will get his night at the seaside.

Train driver Mr Cox has hired his favourite cinema, the ABC, in a move he admitted was "horribly expensive".

'Offend the people'

Life of Brian - the story of a man born at the same time as Jesus Christ and who is mistaken for the Messiah - was released at the end of 1979 and immediately stepped into a huge blasphemy row.

Bournemouth council's environmental services committee met the following year to decide if the age limit for the film should be raised from 14 (the AA certificate) to 18.

Ben Grower, who was on the committee at the time, said: "There were quite a number of right wing, religious councillors in those days. Maybe they thought it would offend the people of Bournemouth.

"Personally I think the people of Bournemouth would have laughed their socks off.

"It is better late than never, I hope those who go enjoy it."

Image copyright Adrian Cox
Image caption Adrian Cox said the ABC Cinema in Bournemouth is his favourite and he hired it out for his 50th birthday last year for a screening of The Railway Children

Mr Cox estimates he has spent more than £3,000 on the event for 150 to 200 people.

Andrew Morgan, the current chairman of the Licensing Board at Bournemouth Borough Council, said: "I wasn't formally asked but if I had been I would have said it was high time the film was shown."

Life of Brian is also due to be shown publicly in the town next month.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites