Michael Palin established his reputation with Monty Python’s Flying Circus and Ripping Yarns. His work also includes several films with Monty Python, as well as A Private Function, Fierce Creatures and a BAFTA-winning performance as the hapless Ken in A Fish Called Wanda. He has written and appeared in the films The Missionary, American Friends and the television plays East of Ipswich and Number 27. He played Jim Nelson in Alan Bleasdale’s GBH and has presented two Great Railway Journey programmes for the BBC. Palin has written books to accompany his eight very successful travel series Around the World in 80 Days, Pole to Pole, Full Circle, Hemingway Adventure, Sahara, Himalaya, New Europe and Brazil. He is also the author of several children’s stories, the play The Weekend and the novels Hemingway’s Chair and The Truth. Palin has published three volumes of diaries titled 1969–1979: The Python Years, 1980-1988: Halfway to Hollywood and 1988-1998: Travelling to Work. In 2014, along with his fellow Pythons, he performed a ten-night sell out show in London. He has also starred in a three-part contemporary ghost story for the BBC called Remember Me. He’s narrated several new series of the classic children’s TV programme The Clangers. In 2017, he appeared as Molotov in Armando Iannucci’s film The Death of Stalin. During 2018 he played Thackeray in an adaptation of Vanity Fair, published Erebus, The Story of a Ship and presented the two part series Michael Palin in North Korea. In 2019, a journal to accompany the North Korea series was published. Between 2009 and 2012, Palin was President of the Royal Geographical Society. In 2013, he was awarded the BAFTA Fellowship.
Photograph: Copyright of John Swannell
Michael Palin in conversation with William Dalrymple
In conversation with William Dalrymple, former Monty Python stalwart and beloved television globe-trotter Michael Palin brings the fascinating story of HMS 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 for more than 150 years to be rediscovered under the Arctic waters in 2014.