The first Monty Python live show was “a wonderful, fantastic and magical” experience according to actress Carol Cleveland.

The comedian, often known as the Seventh Python, joined Michael Palin, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones on stage for the first of ten sell-out performances.

Miss Cleveland, 72, who lives in Shoreham, said the experience was the pinnacle of her career.

A host of well-known sketches from the surreal cult comedy were performed at the O2 Arena on Tuesday night.

They included the Lumberjack Song, with Miss Cleveland appearing alongside Palin for the performance.

She said: “It was just amazing. I looked out and all I could see what this huge sea of faces.

“There was a mixture of old fans and new and they were joining in with the sketches . You could see they were having an amazing time.

“Everything went really well and there were no behind the scenes hiccups either.

“There was a real buzz after we had finished on Tuesday night. It was so exciting.

“I'm really looking forward to doing the rest of the shows. We are really going out with a bang.”

The final night’s show on July 20 is being filmed and screened live at cinemas around the country, including the Duke of York’s in Brighton.

The cinema is screening it again on July 27 and Miss Cleveland, who also released her autobiography PomPoms Up this year, will be going along to watch and introduce it.

She said: “I was really pleased when I heard the Duke of York's was showing it again.

“Obviously I can't be in Brighton for the first screening as I’ll be on the stage but it will be great to be there the following week and watch it from the audience instead.”

Four series of Monty Python’s Flying Circus, written and performed by the cast, Miss Cleveland appeared in 30 of the 45 episodes.