Former Monty Python star Terry Gilliam is to be honoured with a British Academy of Film and Television Arts Awards (BAFTAs) fellowship at the upcoming ceremony on Sunday (08Feb09).
The comic-turned-director, whose films include 12 Monkeys and Time Bandits, will follow in the footsteps of Charlie Chaplin, Alfred Hitchcock and Steven Spielberg when he is handed the prestigious prize.
The Oscar-nominated star admits he was shocked when he was told about the honour - as he believes he is still best remembered for his on-screen role in comedy TV Monty Python's Flying Circus, rather than his directing skills.
He says, "Awards and honours I've kind of shied away from, but this one I'm happy to take. I keep asking myself, why me? It was quite a surprise when they said we'll give you the Fellowship, as I don't expect these kinds of things.
"I'm recognised more as a Python than I am a filmmaker I suppose. And it'll probably be the thing that goes on the gravestone."
Gilliam's latest picture, The Imaginarium Of Doctor Parnassus, was actor Heath Ledger's final film. Gilliam brought in Hollywood actors Colin Farrell, Johnny Depp and Jude Law to help complete the film following the star's tragic death last January (08).
The BAFTA awards ceremony will take place at London's Royal Opera House on Sunday (08Feb09).