Casting my mind back to Christmas 1971, among my presents, I received a copy of The Monty Python's Big Red Book (Methuen Press). It featured a spoof story titled 'Journey into Earl's Court' - A Raw Tale Of Bed-sitter Land by the Author of "Percy F. Westerman". What followed can only be described as pure Python. If you really want to read it, then follow this link. http://www.heretical.com/miscella/mpart.html
Over the last few years there have been a number of debates with some very wise and knowledgeable people about this somewhat flimsy link, and we have discussed the connection at length, but there has not been a definite answer to the question...... until now.
The only way to settle this question was to ask the writer of Ripping Yarns, Mr Michael Palin, and here is the reply.
Thanks for your letter.
I'm afraid that as so often in Python the choice of name is completely arbitary! Percy F. Westerman was a name we were all brought up with, but his inclusion in the book was not meant to signify anything in particular. Nor was he in our minds when we started to write Ripping Yarns.
All best wishes
So, there you have it. There was never a conscious decision to base any of the Ripping Yarns stories on anything by Percy F. Westerman. Still, some of the Westerman text does sound screen ready for the next series of Ripping Yarns, doesn't it?
The letter from Michael Palin appears with his kind permission.