Michael Palin has been lighting up our screens since the 1960s, from his days as a member of the groundbreaking Monty Python’s Flying Circus to his work as a travel presenter.
And to mark his distinguished career the TV polymath is being admitted to the Radio Times Hall of Fame, following in the footsteps of Sir David Attenborough at this year’s BFI & Radio Times Television Festival.
The public event will include a special conversation between Palin and broadcaster Eddie Mair, which will include reflections (and clips) of some of Palin’s lesser known sixties classics like The Complete and Utter History of Britain, the sketch show featuring fellow Python Terry Jones and others.
Tickets are still available for the event on Friday 7 April, which will include a special screening of East of Ipswich, his autobiographical coming-of-age drama in which he drew on his own memories of family holidays in grey, provincial seaside resorts in the late 1950s – an experience which lit up when he woke to the allure of the opposite sex.
RadioTimes.com spoke to him at the BFI’s archive in Berkhamsted when he was going through some of the material that will be on show.
“I have just had an extraordinary morning,” he beamed. “Emotionally you look at what we did and I think, ‘Wow, we were young men and there was all that to look forward to,’ and you automatically wish perhaps you were still that age. It all seemed to be so easy then…”
He added that his entry into the Hall of Fame was an “extraordinary honour”.