Similar authors to follow
See more recommendations
About Michael Palin
After Oxford, Michael and Terry went on to write for various BBC comedy shows, notably The Frost Report and The Two Ronnies. In 1967, they teamed up with Eric Idle to write and perform the children's comedy series, Do Not Adjust Your Set.
In 1969 came Monty Python's Flying Circus, which firmly established Michael's comic reputation along with his five collaborators Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle and Terry Jones. This team made forty-five Python episodes and five feature films including Monty Python and The Holy Grail, Monty Python's Life of Brian and The Meaning of Life. In 1988 the Monty Python team received the Michael Balcon Award.
Michael's other feature film acting credits include Terry Gilliam's cult feature Brazil, Jabberwocky, The Missionary, which he wrote, Time Bandits, written with Terry Gilliam, American Friends, which he also co-wrote, A Private Function, A Fish Called Wanda, which won him a BAFTA Award for best supporting actor, and Fierce Creatures.
A self-confessed dromomaniac, Michael contributed to two BBC series of Great Railway Journeys of the World, in 1980 and 1994. He also indulged his wanderlust in eight huge adventures for the BBC, Around the World in 80 Days, Pole to Pole, Full Circle, Hemingway Adventure, Sahara, Himalaya, New Europe and Brazil which were enormously successful award-winning television series, books and audios. In 2008 he filmed Around the World in 20 Years a programme celebrating his first travel series. An updated 20th anniversary edition of the book was also published. He is the author of a number of children's stories, the play The Weekend and the novels Hemingway's Chair and The Truth. Michael has also published three volumes of diaries; 1969-1979: The Python Years, 1980-1988: Halfway to Hollywood and in the autumn of 2014, 1988-1998: Travelling to Work, which was accompanied by a theatre tour of the UK, Australia and New Zealand.
In July 2014, Michael, with his fellow Pythons, performed a ten-night sell-out show at the
02 Arena in London - Monty Python Live: One Down Five to Go. More recently, Michael starred in a three part contemporary ghost story, written by Gwyneth Hughes for the BBC called Remember Me.
Michael was made a CBE in the 2000 New Year's Honours for services to television drama & travel. In 2002 he received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the British Comedy Awards, in 2005 he was given a BAFTA Special Award and in 2013 Michael was awarded the BAFTA Fellowship. Between 2009 and 2012 Michael was President of the Royal Geographical Society.
He lives in North London with his wife Helen.
Customers Also Bought Items By
Driven by a passion for travel and history and a love of ships and the sea, former Monty Python stalwart and beloved television globe-trotter Michael Palin explores the world of HMS Erebus, last seen on an ill-fated voyage to chart the Northwest Passage.
Michael Palin brings the fascinating story of the Erebus and its occupants to life, from its construction as a bomb vessel in 1826 through the flagship years of James Clark Ross’s Antarctic expedition and finally to Sir John Franklin’s quest for the holy grail of navigation—a route through the Northwest Passage, where the ship disappeared into the depths of the sea for more than 150 years. It was rediscovered under the arctic waters in 2014.
Palin travels across the world—from Tasmania to the Falkland Islands and the Canadian Arctic—to offer a firsthand account of the terrain and conditions that would have confronted the Erebus and her doomed final crew. Delving into the research, he describes the intertwined careers of the two men who shared the ship’s journeys: Ross, the organizational genius who mapped much of the Antarctic coastline and oversaw some of the earliest scientific experiments to be conducted there; and Franklin, who, at the age of sixty and after a checkered career, commanded the ship on its last disastrous venture. Expertly researched and illustrated with maps, photographs, paintings, and engravings, Erebus is an evocative account of two journeys: one successful and forgotten, the other tragic yet unforgettable.
As in Halfway to Hollywood and The Python Years, Travelling to Work contains a decade's worth of unedited, unabridged diary entries from multi-talented funnyman Michael Palin. In this volume, the last Palin has agreed to publish, the former Python documents his experience hosting a series of BBC travel documentaries even as he continues to develop new dimensions as a writer and actor.
Python faithful will love Palin's candid comments and wry wit even as they are awed by his dogged work ethic and myriad accomplishments. From his work for the BBC to his dramatic portrayal of the headmaster on Alan Bleasdale's award-winning drama GBH, to his success as screenwriter, playwright and novelist, these pages display a true modern-day Renaissance Man. Included as well are behind the scenes stories from the making of Fierce Creatures, the tumultuous follow-up to A Fish Called Wanda, along with Palin's reflections on dealings with his manager, editors and publishers--enough insider information to please any show business enthusiast.
In short, Travelling to Work is a roller-coaster ride driven by the Palin hallmarks curiosity, a sense of adventure and unflappable cool demonstrating he is truly, in his own words, 'someone grounded and safe who can be tempted into almost anything.'
The amazingly insightful, funny and brilliant record of Michael Palin's prime years as a member of the famed comedic group, Monty Python.
Michael Palin has kept a diary since newly married in the late 1960s. This volume of his diaries reveals how Python emerged and triumphed, how he, John Cleese, Graham Chapman, the two Terrys---Jones and Gilliam---and Eric Idle came together and changed the face of British comedy.
But this is but only part of Palin's story. Here is his growing family, his home in a north London Victorian terrace, which grows as he buys the house next door and then a second at the bottom of the garden; here, too, is his solo effort---as an actor, in Three Men in a Boat, his writing endeavours (often in partnership with Terry Jones) that produces Ripping Yarns and even a pantomime.
Meanwhile Monty Python refuses to go away: the hugely successful movies that follow the TV (his account of the making of both The Holy Grail and the Life of Brian movies are page-turners), the at times extraordinary goings-on of the many powerful personalities who coalesced to form the Python team, the fight to prevent an American TV network from bleeping out the best jokes on U.S. transmission, and much more---all this makes for funny and riveting reading.
The birth and childhood of his three children, his father's growing disability, learning to cope as a young man with celebrity, his friendship with George Harrison, and all the trials of a peripatetic life are also essential ingredients of these diaries. A perceptive and funny chronicle, the diaries are a rich portrait of a fascinating period.
"A wealth of fascinating stuff about Monty Python."
---The Independent (UK)
In May 2018, former Monty Python stalwart and intrepid globetrotter Michael Palin ventured into the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, camera crew in tow, to gain a glimpse of life in the most notoriously secretive and cut-off nation on earth. His resulting two-part documentary for Channel 5 fascinated millions and won universal plaudits.
Now he shares the journal he meticulously kept during his trip, in which he describes his experiences in a country wholly unlike any other he has ever visited: a country where you will find the Tallest Unoccupied Building in the World; where the residents of Pyongyang awake every morning to the strains of 'Where Are You, Dear General?', broadcast from speakers across the city; and where there are fifteen approved styles of haircut. He chronicles a journey of stark contrasts that takes in a gleamingly modern capital complete with triumphal statues and arches one day, and a countryside that has barely changed in decades on another. He travels to the heavily fortified Demilitarized Zone, to a centuries-old Confucian academy, and to the heart of North Korea's exquisitely beautiful mountains and lakes. He recounts conversations with official guides, teachers, propaganda artists, farmers and soldiers in which mutual incomprehension and shared humanity are constantly intermingled. And he muses on what makes people tick under a regime that to outsiders seems so utterly alien and so grimly authoritarian.
Written with Palin's trademark warmth and wit, and illustrated with beautiful colour photographs throughout, Palin's journal offers a rare insight into the North Korea behind the headlines.
Martin Sproale is an assistant postmaster obsessed with Ernest Hemingway. Martin lives in a small English village, where he studies his hero and putters about harmlessly--until an ambitious outsider, Nick Marshall, is appointed postmaster instead of Martin. Slick and self-assured, Nick steals Martin's girlfriend and decides to modernize the friendly local office by firing dedicated but elderly employees and privatizing the business. Suddenly, gentle Martin is faced with a choice: meedly accept defeat as he always has, or fight for what he believes in, as his hero, Hemingway, would.
Filled with Michael Palin's trademark wit and good humor, this novel is for anyone who has ever dreamed of triumphing over the technocrats and backstabbers of the world. Hilarious, touching, and ultimately inspirational, Hemingway's Chair will make readers stand up and cheer.
'The pace of this kind of travel has not much changed since Fogg set out in 1872. Trains may be a little faster, but there are certainly no high-speed rail links yet across India, China or the USA. Passenger services have practically disappeared from the world's shipping lanes ... Recourse to air travel, even as a convenient means of escape, was not allowed.'
Following the route taken by Phileas Fogg 115 years earlier, Michael Palin set out from the Reform Club to circumnavigate the world. The rules were simple, but nothing else about the trip was straightforward...
From a tour of Venice on a rubbish barge to ship spotting at the Suez Canal and the bicycle rush hour and snake snacks in China, this is an unparalleled tribute to man's ability to make life difficult for himself.
Michael Palin's terrific account of his journey through 18 countries bordering the Pacific Ocean, published by Phoenix for the first time.
For almost a year, Michael Palin travelled through 18 countries on the perimeter of the world's largest ocean, in a spectacular journey of contrasts, drama and beauty.
From head-hunters in Borneo to a meal of maggots in Mexico, his route takes him to some of the most politically volatile and physically demanding places on Earth. Whether climbing the Exalted Mountains in China, dodging icebergs in Chile, or being taken short on the banks of the Amazon, Michael Palin paints a vivid picture of the people and places around him.
'It was a journey of dazzling surprises and jarring extremes. Beauty and ugliness, sophistication and squalor, unceasing urban noise and monastic tranquility ... This is a record of a year of wonder' Michael Palin.
No. 1 bestseller and superstar doing what he does best, introducing millions of avid readers to little-known peoples and places.
Until the early 1990s, when the Berlin Wall came tumbling down, travelling behind the iron curtain was never easy. In undertaking his new journey through Eastern Europe, breathing in its rich history, and exquisite sights and talking to its diverse peoples, Michael fills what has been a void in his own experience and that of very many others.
NEW EUROPE is very much a voyage of discovery, from the snows of the Julian Alps to the beauty of the Baltic sea, he finds himself in countries he'd barely heard of, many unfamiliar and mysterious, all with tragic histories and much brighter futures.
During his 20-country adventure Palin meets Romanian lumberjacks, drives the 8.58 stopping train from Poznan to Wolsztyn, treads the catwalk at a Budapest fashion show, learns about mine-clearing in Bosnia and watches Turkish gents wrestling in olive oil.
As with all his bestselling books, in his uniquely entertaining style, Palin opens up a new and undiscovered world to millions of readers.
No.1 bestseller Michael Palin's epic journey from the North Pole to the South Pole.
'The cracked and fissured ice-pack offers no comfortable reassurance - no glimmer of any reward to the traveller who has made his way to the top of the world. The Arctic Ocean, known to the Victorians as the Sea of Ancient Ice, stares balefully back as we descend towards it, reflecting nothing but the question: Why?'
Michael Palin's adventure begins when he is enrolled in the Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society...
Travelling by train, truck, raft, Ski-Doo, barge, balloon and bicycle, Michael Palin experiences every extreme the world has to offer. Braving the cold grip of the Arctic Circle, and the swirling snowstorms of Spitsbergen, Palin has to cope with friendly locals, occasional gunfire and his own unruly digestive system before he can finally stand in Scott's shoes at the South Pole, in the Land of the Midnight Sun.
A Kirkus Reviews Best Nonfiction of 2011 title
The second volume of Michael Palin's diaries covers the bulk of the 1980s, a decade in which the ties binding the Pythons loosened—they made their last film Monty Pyton's Meaning of Life in 1983. For Michael, writing and acting took over much of his life, culminating in his appearances in A Fish Called Wanda, in which he played the hapless, stuttering Ken, and won a BAFTA for Best Supporting Actor. Halfway to Hollywood follows Palin's torturous trail through seven movies and ends with his final preparations for the documentary that was to change his life—Around the World in 80 Days.
During these years he co-wrote and acted in Terry Gilliam's Time Bandits as well as spearing in Gilliam's follow-up success Brazil. Palin co-produced, wrote and played the lead in The Missionary opposite Maggie Smith, who also appeared with him in A Private Function, written by Alan Bennett. In television the decade was memorable for East of Ipswich, inspired his links with Suffolk. Such was his fame in the US, he was enticed into once again hosting the enormously popular show Saturday Night Live. He filmed one of the BBC's Great Railway Journeys as well as becoming chairman of the pressure group Transport 2000. His life with Helen and the family remains a constant, as the children enter their teens.
Palin's joy of writing is evident once more in Halfway to Hollywood as he demonstrates his continuing sense of wonder at the world in which he finds himself. A world of screens large and small.
"An ingeniously plotted, beautifully written and hugely enjoyable book that raises tricky questions about... our need for heroes [and] the price of personal compromise.'"—The Daily Telegraph
For the first time since his much-beloved tale Hemingway's Chair was published in 1998, Michael Palin pens a new novel featuring the warm and witty story of an everyman, a tantalizing offer, a journey to India, and the search for the truth.
Keith Mabbut is at a crossroads in his life. A professional writer of some repute, he has reached the age of fifty-six with nothing resembling the success of his two great literary heroes, George Orwell and Albert Camus. When he is offered the opportunity of a lifetime—to write the biography of the elusive Hamish Melville, a widely respected and highly influential activist and humanitarian—he seizes the chance to write something meaningful. His search to find out the real story behind the legend takes Mabbut to the lush landscapes and environmental hotspots of India.
The more he discovers about Melville, the more he admires him—and the more he connects with an idealist who wanted to make a difference. But is his quarry really who he claims to be? As Keith discovers, the truth can be whatever we make it.
In this wonderful, heartwarming novel, Michael Palin turns his considerable skills to fiction in the story of an ordinary man on an extraordinary adventure.
"[Palin's] book is well paced, his prose, carefully hewn, his characters fully developed and convincingly human. And his comic timing is impeccable." —The Washington Post on Hemingway's Chair
"This book's strengths are . . . its dry, deftly, understated wit, its careful plot and character construction; it's clever, on-the-money dialogue . . . Those pleasures carry you a long way." —The New York Times Book Review on Hemingway's Chair
If you've ever wondered what happened to the young fellow from Malta who bought his grandfather an altar…
If you're concerned about the camper called Jack who found a huge snake in his pack…
And if you suspect that an eccentric landowner called Grey spent Christmas a very strange way but aren't sure precisely what that entailed…
Then a dip into Michael Palin's Sackful of Limericks will provide all the answers – and a lot of fun besides.