- Following his father's death during World War II, attended boarding school at The Royal Wolverhampton School from the age of 7 on.
- Met future Monty Python members John Cleese and Graham Chapman through Cambridge's Footlights comedy club; became club president in 1965 and was the first to open membership to women.
- Was the only Monty Python member to write sketches alone, rather than with a partner.
- Made his directing debut in 1978 with the made-for-TV Beatles parody The Rutles: All You Need Is Cash.
- Has released several books, including the novel Road to Mars (2000) and the travelogue The Greedy Bastard Diary: A Comic Tour of America (2005).
- Revived the big-screen comedy Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975) with the creation of Spamalot, a Broadway spinoff that won the Tony Award for Best Musical in 2005.
- Turned Life of Brian into an oratorio titled "Not the Messiah (He's a Very Naughty Boy)" (2007) for the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, whose conductor is Idle's cousin.
- 2005, Tony — Score (Music and/or Lyrics): Nominee
- 2005, Tony — Book of a Musical: Nominee
- 2005, Grammy — Best Musical Show Album: Winner
- Ernest Idle — Father
- Peter Oundjian — Cousin
- Lynn Ashley — Ex-wife
- Norah Idle — Mother
- Tania Kosevich — Wife
- Lily Idle — Daughter
- Carey Idle — Son
- University of Cambridge, Pembroke College, Cambridge, England
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