Eric is possibly best known for his songwriting and singing skills, which were put to best use in his work with Monty Python, in the TV Series, and in the films. Among his many triumphs, probably his most recognised hit was "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life", which was written as the closing song for the film Life of Brian, as sung from the crosses during the mass crucifixion, as an antidote to Death. When this song was revived at a football match, it was re-released to much acclaim, and did very well in the UK Pop Charts.
He is also very well known as the co-creator of "The Rutles" a pop band that parodied The Beatles (and indeed was helped into existence by George Harrison, who had also helped Life of Brian get off the ground), and played songs largely written by Neil Innes. The Rutles first appeared on Mr Idle's oft-forgotten BBC TV series Rutland Weekend Television, which also spawned a book, The Rutland Dirty Weekend Book, written by Mr Idle in the same vein as the Monty Python books. His clever verbal skills have also allowed him to write and sing clever and intricate songs on such Lesser-known broadcast projects as the radio series Radio Five transmitted on BBC Radio One.
His film credits include Nuns on the Run (1990) (with Robbie Coltrane), Splitting Heirs, Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975), Life of Brian, a live action Wind in the Willows and many more. He has also written novels, including the science-fiction comedy novel, The Road to Mars, and Hello Sailor.
He also appeared in the American sitcom Suddenly Susan from 1999 to 2000 as Ian Maxtone-Graham.
He voiced the character Rincewind in the computer games Disworld 1 and Discworld 2: Missing Presumed.
UK chart singles - Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life (1991) Monty Python: One Foot In The Grave (1994) featuring Richard Wilson, for which TV series he wrote and performed the theme song, as well as guest starring.