Michael Palin wins Special Recognition Award at NTAs

The award comes on the 30th anniversary of his groundbreaking travel documentary Around the World in 80 Days

Michael Palin: A Life on Screen

Sir Michael Palin has been honoured with the Special Recognition Award tonight at the National Television Awards.

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The prestigious accolade is given to people who have contributed significantly to British television over a number of years, with previous winners including Sir David Attenborough, Joanna Lumley and Stephen Fry.

Palin’s career began in the acclaimed comedy group Monty Python, writing and performing in the likes of The Holy Grail, Life of Brian and The Meaning of Life.

More recently, he has produced and presented a number of travel documentaries, exploring cultures and landscapes from around the world.

He received a standing ovation as he took to the stage at London’s O2 following a retrospective of his long and amazing career, during which John Cleese, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Paul Merton and Mackenzie Crook all paid tribute.

Palin dedicated his award to his “dear friend” and Monty Python colleague Terry Jones, who passed away last week.

Earlier, a spokesperson for ITV said: “This special award will mark the 50th anniversary of Monty Python and 30 years of travel documentaries – 1989 saw the launch of Sir Michael’s ground breaking travel series Around the World in 80 Days which changed the face of popular factual TV – and celebrate Sir Michael’s career to date which has embraced writing, acting, presenting and of course… The Clangers.”

Palin has won four BAFTAs and received a knighthood for services to travel, culture and geography in 2019.

Earlier this month, his friend and fellow Monty Python star Terry Jones passed away at the age of 77, following complications from dementia.

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The National Television Awards air on ITV at 7:30pm on Tuesday 28th January 2020