Host of celebrities support Amnesty International

The first ever Secret Policeman’s Ball to take place outside the UK was held on the 4th March 2012 in the United States. To celebrate the 50th show, the annual ball was hosted at Radio City Music Hall in New York. A host of stars and celebrities took part to raise funds for Amnesty International, including Russell Brand and Coldplay.

The original Secret Policeman’s Ball was staged by John Cleese and other members of the Monty Python team. In 1976 the first event of its kind was held in London, called A Poke in the Eye (with a Sharp Stick), with the star of Fawlty Towers and his Python mates performing. Comedians and stars of well-loved comedy shows in the UK and US came together to raise awareness for human rights throughout the world. Michael Palin, Eric Idle and Terry Jones from the Monty Python team appeared in video messages on Sunday evening.

The event was the first to take place since 2008, with US stars Ben Stiller and Jon Stewart appearing alongside UK comedians David Walliams and Eddie Izzard. Even Statler and Waldorf from the Muppet Show made a brief appearance. During the 36 years of its history, musicians like Sting and Pete Townsend have appeared on stage for the benefit of free expression along with a host of other famous names.

John Cleese, writer and star of UK comedy shows such as Fawlty Towers and Monty Python, is respected by many in the UK and around the world.