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Glasgow unbans Life of Brian

So, what has the council ever done for us?

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Glasgow councillors yesterday took the bold decision to allow the burghers of that fine city to enjoy Monty Python's Life Of Brian on the big screen for the first time in 29 years.

According to the Daily Record, Glaswegian licensing chiefs ruled back in 1980 that the movie could only be shown with an adult X cert. The distributors refused to change the 15 certificate, and the film remained off-screen until now.

The belated attack of good sense came at the behest of the Glasgow Film Theatre, whose Allison Gardner described herself as "delighted" at the decision.

Willie O'Rourke of the council's licensing committee explained: "The world, and people's attitudes, have moved on."

The young 'uns among you who're wondering just exactly what all the fuss was about back in the distant 1980s should consider yourselves fortunate to have missed the Life of Brian brouhaha which saw decent, law-abiding Middle England falling over itself to ban the film*, while members of a moribund C of E crawled out of the woodwork to slam the "blasphemous" representation of Brian of Nazareth.

It wasn't just the Prods and Glasgow who objected to the film - it was banned in Ireland until 1987. ®

Bootnote

*Including Torbay council, which pulled the same 18-cert stunt as Glasgow. That ban wasn't lifted until September 2008.

Wales didn't escape the witch hunt either. Aberystwyth took exception to the film, a fact only recently discovered by mayor Sue Jones-Davies, who rather fantastically played Brian's squeeze Judith Iscariot in the film.

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