Brazil with Michael Palin

Road to Rio

Series 1 - Episode 3 Road to Rio



Palin reaches the one Brazilian city that everybody knows – Rio de Janeiro or, as it’s known locally, the Marvellous City. This doesn’t mean he strolls the famous beach, ogling girls from Ipanema and the like (though he does pop into a saucy “love hotel” and take part in the Gay Pride Parade).

Mainly he learns about the lawlessness and poverty of the crowded favelas where drug barons rule. Palin doesn’t dally on these mean streets for too long – he’s not Ross Kemp, after all – preferring to find out how the city is reconciling its differences. And because there’s an awful lot of coffee in Brazil, he tries out as a barista.


Michael begins the third leg of his journey in the mineral-rich state of Minas Gerais, where he learns about the Brazilian mining industry and meets some of the people dedicated to overturning the environmental damage it causes. He then heads to Rio de Janeiro, focus of the next Olympics, where the authorities are ridding the streets of violent drug gangs that have controlled the city's shanty towns. On a lighter note, the globe-trotting broadcaster also learns to celebrate a goal like a well-known radio commentator and visits a `love hotel'.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Michael Palin
Director Francis Hanly
Series Producer John Paul Davidson