Monty Python star Michael Palin, 70, travels more than ever before 25 years after Around the World in 80 Days

Monty Python star Michael Palin has vowed to continue making travel documentaries despite being “partially decrepit”, ahead of a fundraising talk for Keats Community Library in Hampstead this month.

The 70-year-old presenter, who lives in Gospel Oak, will reflect on 25 years travelling around the world during the talk, which he agreed to after seeing actor Simon Callow’s one-man show in support of the library at the Royal Free Hospital in Pond Street in April.

So impressed was he with the audience reaction that he chose the location to share his memories of “the beautiful, the unusual and the outlandish” from his travels in aid of the community-run space in Keats Grove.

“I’m trying to give the audience something different this time, talking about the travelling, how we make the programmes, the highlights and showing some wonderful photographs,” he said.

“It’s been almost 25 years exactly since Around the World in 80 Days. I do get a bit of anniversary-itus because I think the 43rd anniversary can be just as interesting as the 25th but now seems like a good time to reflect on it all.”


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The writer, actor, and presenter moved into travel writing and broadcasting in 1988 with his show Michael Palin: Around the World in 80 Days, in which he followed the path taken by Phileas Fogg in Jule Verne’s famous novel without using aircraft to travel. He has been venturing across the globe ever since and has made eight documentaries, each with an accompanying book.

Despite describing himself as “partially decrepit”, Mr Palin has no plans to stop his travels any time soon but was tight-lipped on the details of his future ventures.

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He said: “This year, I’ve probably travelled more than I do for a series but they’ve just been short hops; to Poland as they launched my book there and Scandinavia doing more publicity there.

‘‘I think my wife prefers it that way! But we’ve been together a long, long time so something obviously works.”

The talk will not be held in Keats Community Library but in the Peter Samuel Theatre on Tuesday, October 22 at 7.30pm.

Mr Palin has been a patron of the volunteer-run library since it opened in April 2012 following the withdrawal of funding for Heath Library by Camden Council.

He rarely has time to visit but said his children have used both Heath Library and Queen’s Crescent Library.

“When the library was closed, it was an absolute loss, as it would be if any library closes,” he said.

“The great support from the community kept it going but libraries are taken for granted. It’s only when the axe falls that everyone rallies around, which shows how much they mean to people.

“Keats Community Library is a great place if you want to go and find somewhere quiet and it is really, really important that we support it.”

To book, visit the library, telephone 020 7431 1266, or go to wegottickets.com and search for “Palin”.

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