Monty Python fans have joined forces with the stars of the hit West End musical Spamalot to break the world record for coconut-orchestra playing.

Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam, stars of the original Monty Python films, conducted the proceedings at London's Trafalgar Square as part of the city's St George's Day celebrations.

More than 5,500 people raised their coconut shells to the capital's skies in time to the Python classic Always Look on the Bright Side of Life, smashing the previous record set in New York last March.

On that occasion 1,789 people gathered outside the Shubert Theatre in Broadway to celebrate the first anniversary of Spamalot by clipping their shells together.

A statement on the Spamalot website confirmed last night's record: "5,567 people played their coconuts and the record was verified by the Guinness Book Of World Records."

The record attempt was held as part of London mayor Ken Livingstone's series of events to mark the annual day set aside for England's patron saint.

Mr Livingstone appeared alongside the Python stars for the coconut spectacular, which he said showed off the "unique English sense of humour, making it a great way to celebrate St George's Day".

A free screening of Monty Python and the Holy Grail was broadcast after the successful coconut playing.

24/04/2007 13:30:58