Eric Idle's stage version of Monty Python movie THE HOLY GRAIL has hit a major snag - a fellow Broadway, New York-bound production has asked him to change the musical's title.

The comic has been contacted by a "disappointed" attorney representing a forthcoming stage version of FREDERICK LOEWE and Alan Jay Lerner's classic CAMELOT, urging the Brit to axe the proposed title for his show, SPAMALOT - a word Idle lifted from a Monty Python song.

Production chiefs for Camelot are concerned the theatre-going public will be confused by the similarity of the titles.

In a fax, the attorney writes, "I was disappointed to learn of the possibility that it might be called Spamalot. It is anticipated that there will be a Broadway production of Lerner and Loewe's Camelot opening in the same season as the anticipated Spamalot, and the presence of these two shows together, we believe, can lead only to confusion in the minds of the public.

"Since Lerner and Loewe's Camelot has been in existence since 1961, we suggest that you consider changing the title of your musical."

But 60-year-old Idle - whose musical is expected to hit Broadway in 2005 - is unimpressed, and has launched a scathing attack on the "idiots" the lawyer is describing.

He spits, "Surely only an idiot could confuse Camelot and Spamalot. But idiots are how lawyers make their money."

11/11/2003 13:48