Viewers were fascinated by Michael Palin’s North Korea documentary

But what didn’t we see in the secretive country?

Michael Palin in North Korea (Channel 5)

Last night saw a real TV first when veteran travel broadcaster (and former Monty Python member) Michael Palin travelled to North Korea for a new Channel 5 documentary, his first time in the self-sealed state and a rare chance for viewers to see what life is like in the country.


And it’s fair to say that viewers were pretty excited to see Palin back in travel mode.

In this first episode Palin went to the country’s capital, Pyongyang, where the streets are serenaded by propaganda songs. During his time there, he visits statues of former leaders Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-il that are said to live on today and even pops into a North Korean school, where he throws a globe around with some children to see how much of the world they know about while one child recites a patriotic poem.

And while there are serious questions asked about the country, Palin joining in the dancing during a mass May Day celebration captured the imagination of many viewers.

Of course, Palin was aware that he was being presented with quite a sanitised view of the country – and it’s a fact that wasn’t left on people watching at home.

But overall, people were still impressed at the groundbreaking film and all it represented – to the point that there was an extreme overkill of people saying “fascinating” on Twitter….


Michael Palin in North Korea continues on Channel 5 next Thursday at 9pm