Terry Gilliam has launched an astonishing attack on the former members of comedy legends Monty Python, labelling them "washed up has-beens".

The director insisted he would never work with surviving members Michael Palin, John Cleese, Eric Idle and Terry Jones again, during a rant at the London Film Festival screening of his latest film The Brothers Grimm yesterday (01NOV05) - despite Palin and Jones being present at the event.

He said, "Will I work with any of them again? No. I don't think so. Have you seen them lately? They're all washed up has-beens."

Gilliam also mocked the commercials Cleese has made for a number of companies, including mobile phone firm Orange, sniping, "That's not really John Cleese in that Orange commercial. That's a desperate man."

Gilliam also revealed that the success of Monty Python musical SPAMALOT has made Eric Idle the richest member of the comedy troupe.

He said, "If you have a hit on Broadway, you're made. Is he wealthier that John Cleese now? Well probably. Why else would John be doing those trashy ads (other than for the money)?"