Monty Python stars John Cleese, Michael Palin, Eric Idle and Terry Jones have lost their court battle with a producer over royalties from their hit stage show Spamalot.

Mark Forstater, who produced 1975 film Monty Python And The Holy Grail, took the surviving members of the comedy troop to court over allegations he was underpaid on royalties from the spin-off musical.

Forstater claimed he should have been entitled to a larger share of the proceeds due to his contribution to the original film and an agreement put in place back in the 1970s, and Idle, Palin and Jones all gave evidence during the court case.

A judge at London's High Court ruled in Forstater's favour on Friday (05Jul13), and he is to be awarded a settlement at a later date.

Speaking after Friday's ruling, Forstater insisted the victory was bittersweet, saying, "I have always been adamant I was correct. I have been proved right - justice has prevailed. There is a sadness, though, about having to face people who were my friends in court. We have been friends for a long time. Monty Python are an institution. I like the fact that they have apparently joked about the litigation. I still think they are very funny."

Spamalot opened to huge success both on Broadway and in London's West End, winning three Tony Awards and making millions in box office sales. It has also been staged in countries including Canada, France and Japan.