Eric Idle is a British voice actor on the animated series The Angry Beavers.

Early life and education

Idle was born in Harton, near South Shields in County Durham, where his mother had been evacuated to from the north west of England. His mother, Norah Barron Sanderson,[1] was a health visitor, and his father, Ernest Idle,[2][3] served in the Royal Air Force during World War II, only to be killed in a hitch-hiking accident shortly after the war.[4] His mother had difficulty coping with a full-time job and bringing up a child so, when Idle was seven, she enrolled him in the Royal Wolverhampton School as a boarder. At this time the school was a charitable foundation dedicated to the education and maintenance of children who had lost one or both parents.[5] Idle is quoted as saying: "It was a physically abusive, bullying, harsh environment for a kid to grow up in. I got used to dealing with groups of boys and getting on with life in unpleasant circumstances and being smart and funny and subversive at the expense of authority. Perfect training for Python."[5]

Idle stated that the two things that made his life bearable were listening to Radio Luxembourg under the bedclothes and watching the local football team, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Despite this, he disliked other sports and would sneak out of school every Thursday afternoon to the local cinema. Idle was eventually caught watching the X-rated film BUtterfield 8 (suitable for audiences aged sixteen years and over under the contemporary film certificates) and stripped of his prefecture, even though by that time he was head boy. Idle had already refused to be senior boy in the school cadet force, as he supported the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and had participated in the yearly Aldermaston March.[5] Idle maintains that there was little to do at the school, and boredom drove him to study hard and consequently win a place at Cambridge University.[5]


  • Idle performed the song "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life", which he had written for the 1979 film Monty Python's Life of Brian, at the London 2012 Olympic Games Closing Ceremony.
  • He and fellow Monty Python troupe member John Cleese started a live stage show entitled "John Cleese & Eric Idle: Together Again At Last... For the Very First Time".

Characters portrayed

  • Spanque the Waiter


  1. "Search Register Office records - South Tyneside Council". South Tyneside Birth death and Marriages.
  2. Barratt, Nick; "Family detective", 17 February 2007.
  3. Eric Idle Biography (1943–), Theatre, Film, and Television Biographies.
  4. "Casualty Details". CWGC. 24 December 1945.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 McCabe, Bob (15 September 2005). The Pythons' Autobiography by the Pythons. Orion. ISBN 978-0-7528-6425-9.

External links

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