British Icon Michael Palin talks about his career in television
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The opening gala for the BFI TV and Radio festival included an hour and a half conversation with Michael Palin, looking back at his career - which has spanned over six decades. Palin’s warm presence greeted the audiences' cheers as he walked on stage to conduct the Q&A with BBC Radio 4's Eddie Mair. It took only a few seconds before Palin stood up and began singing ‘the lumberjack song’ with a Germanic twist. Conversation began with a discussion of one of Palin’s most successful documentaries, Around The World in 80 Days, where Palin confessed: “I was trying to be an actor playing Phileas Fogg”. Though it is one of Palin’s most acknowledged works, he claimed that it was a very strenuous time during his life. “The best thing was to be yourself…I’m not cheating”. The conversation soon lead to Palin’s own interviewing techniques to which he said “I’m probably too nice”. Palin’s loving and warm presence can be a pain when it comes to interviewing others, which Palin acknowledged. A clip was shown during the conversation that took the audience on a trip through Palin’s on screen life. The clips included Monty Python, Great Railway Journeys, G.B.H and Twice A Fortnight. From all the extracts shown, Palin joked and claimed “DMU Valley was my best work”. Monty Python’s Flying Circus was one of the feature clips in the short screening, which featured former Beatles member Ringo Starr and 60’s icon Lulu. The episode, which included an on screen fight between Palin and the two musicians, created a mass amount of laughter in the sold out audience. “Lulu was well in there with a knee in the groin,” laughed Palin, reminiscing on the fun onscreen antics he had with fellow celebrities.
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