Comedy legend John Cleese has launched a stinging attack on the British press for hounding celebrities.

The MONTY PYTHON star left his native England to set up home in California so he could escape unwanted attention from the UK press.

The 65-year-old actor and writer says, "In Britain we have a press that I am deeply embarrassed by - because they are nasty and unscrupulous and have no interest in finding out the truth. They will run a story because they think it's a good one.

"If you are a celebrity, the nastiness, intrusiveness and the deep unscrupulousness that has crept into the British press in the last 20 years makes it very uncomfortable being a public figure."

Elaborating on why he enjoys living in America's Golden State, Cleese adds, "Nobody pays any attention to me there. The great advantage of being in America is that there are at least three categories of stars above me, who are much better known than me and the press give them a pretty nasty time. But I'm lucky enough to avoid that."

26/06/2005 10:47