Python ‘not that good’ insists Palin

Michael Palin
Michael Palin

Monty Python’s dead parrot sketch may be ready for one last squawk live on stage this summer - but much of the rest of the team’s work ‘was really not that good’, according to Michael Palin.

The Pythons’ money-spinning shows at London’s 02 Arena in July made have sold out in seconds, but the Sheffield-born star says fans only remember the show’s ‘gleaming’ moments.

The 70-year-old admits he’s still proud of his work on classics like the Spanish Inquisition and the saga of the Norwegian Blue. But he said: “People forgive you the things that don’t work. A lot of Python was crap, it really was.

“We put stuff in there that was not really that good, but fortunately there were a couple of gleaming things that everyone remembers while they’ve forgotten the dross.”

Palin is bringing a new solo show back to his home city on October 22, the final night of a 21 date national tour titled Travelling to Work.

Based around the third volume of the Palin diaries, it will feature anecdotes, photos and footage looking back at 25 years spent exploring the world.

The show will also look at Palin’s near 50 year career in radio, television, books and films - including what he calls the ‘lowlights and cock-ups’.

His life took a different turn after the success of the series Around the World in Eighty Days, first broadcast in 1989. But Palin says that while he enjoyed huge popularity with travel shows such as 80 Days, Pole to Pole and Full Circle, he never thought of it as a second career.

“When I was young, I remember thinking ‘one day I’ll become an adult’ and I’d become rather serious and wear a tie and go to cocktail parties.

“But I realised that’s not really what it’s about.

“It’s about a state of mind. And I’ve never really, properly become an adult. Nor have I done that other thing that was my father’s dearest wish – have a job and career.

“I’ve always been freelance. I’ve very much been blown by the winds. Career doesn’t really come into it. Looking back now, yes it gave me another branch to my life but I kept all the other things going at the same time.”