Now for something completely different: the Monty Python star claims that he would like to return to the UK, but the lack of tax relief on his alimony payments has reduced him to being a tax exile.

John Cleese made a guest appearance this morning on Chris Moyles’ Radio 1 show. The comedian has been resident in the US for many years and is visiting the UK on his “Alimony tour”, a fund-raising exercise necessitated by the size of the divorce settlement awarded to his third wife. Cleese has found that he would have to earn in excess of £2 million a year in order to return to the UK and still afford to pay up to £1 million in alimony each year.

After discussing the relative merits of being tall, the parrot sketch and the fact that Wikipedia has got him wrong – he is not vegetarian and his mother was not an acrobat, he revealed that he would prefer to spend more time in the UK but is put off by tax rates.

John Cleese's divorce settlement appears to range between £12.5 million and $65 million (depending on what website you read), only slightly more than the amount that HMRC’s Permanent Secretary Dave Hartnett gave away to Goldman Sachs in 2010 (up to £10 million according to the Public Accounts Committee).

 

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