I met Michael Palin at his club in Soho, London on the morning of 31st May 2016. We spoke about travel writing with reference to my Dad who also wrote about travel for a living (some of his pieces are still here on his blog) and who loved many of the same travel books as Michael, especially Venice by Jan Morris and A Time Of Gifts by Patrick Leigh Fermor .

We also spoke about the Monty Python films, particularly The Life Of Brian, The Meaning Of Life and the ending of The Holy Grail. I had taken along my tatty copies of the Meaning Of Life book and The Life Of Brian Scrapbook which provided jumping off points for some of our conversation.

We also spoke briefly about the difficult process of making ‘American Friends’ -- a film released in 1991 that Michael wrote and also starred in. Check out the trailer which begins with the powerful endorsement: “In the tradition of Howard’s End and Enchanted April comes a film that receives three and a half stars from John Anderson…” That must really have packed them in.

Michael’s account of Graham Chapman’s death, which I mentioned at the end of our conversation, can be found in his excellent Travelling To Work diaries. It’s my favourite of the 3 volumes, but they’re all highly entertaining. Listening to them all was a reminder of how important he and Python were to me as a youngster.

Perhaps for that reason I was very nervous meeting Michael. I imagined he would be rude, physically aggressive and self involved but weirdly, he was charming.

Thanks to Seamus Murphy-Mitchell for production support and Matt Lamont for additional editing.

love A Bxt






Posted by: Adam on @ 4:02 pm


  • “I met Michael Palin at his club in Soho, London”… I’m imagining old men in suits sitting in tall back armchairs with broadsheet newspapers held up masking their upper body with smoke rising from cigars in ashtrays on mahogany side tables. Completely antiquated vision from my part. I just cant imagine ‘gentlemen clubs’ in the 21st century. I haven’t listened yet to the podcast…am about to now.

    Comment by Mandy — September 8, 2016 @ 8:00 am

  • Hi Adam, I just wanted to say your podcast brightens up my day, this one especially as I was feeling krank and Michael Palin is one of my favourite people.

    I wonder if you’ve considered inviting Neil Hannon for a ramble chat? He has a new album out and is about to tour. I still remember when Vinyl Justice visited him, tee hee. Oh and what did you think of the Bowie Prom? Don’t think you’ve mentioned it yet.. Love from Kate Snow in Berlin x

    Comment by Kate Snow — September 9, 2016 @ 1:23 pm

  • Hey there Adam, I love the podcast! You mentioned merch a few weeks ago and as an ardent supporter of the jingles, how about putting an album together of them? Perhaps bandcamp.com would suit it.

    Comment by Robin — September 10, 2016 @ 7:35 pm

  • I loved the chat with Michael Palin and listening to Louis Theroux just now trying to hit a high note made my day. Thank you!

    Comment by Cindy — September 12, 2016 @ 6:05 pm

  • They say never meet your heroes… but Michael sounded like a genuuinely lovely chap, which is heartening.

    Loving the podcast, it makes me smile while I work.

    Comment by Tom — September 29, 2016 @ 9:48 am

  • Dr Buckles, what can I say but thank you for coming back into my life in such a glorious way. I’m so happy that I have stumbled across your podcasts. I have listened to so many of them in quick succession because they are like a breath of fresh air. Honest, interesting, funny, musical, and relaxing! As for this podcast well, Michael Palin a longtime hero of mine for many reasons but mainly because watching him, listening to him or reading his words just warms my cockles. Thank you Marie

    Comment by Marie Lindley — October 9, 2016 @ 9:11 am

  • Excellent episode of your fab, funny podcast. Thank you.

    Comment by Nick — October 16, 2016 @ 4:55 pm

  • Dear Adam, thanks for your wonderful podcasts. I enjoy them very much. I would like to ask you (or any other native speaker and listener for that matter): would it be possible to write down the names of the travel authors mentioned in your chat with Michael Palin? Although my English is quite okay, I am having trouble understanding all the names and would really love to read some of the works mentioned. I’d be eternally grateful! Best from Berlin,

    Comment by Luise — December 21, 2016 @ 6:19 pm

  • Hi Luise, The authors mentioned were Patrick (Paddy) Leigh Fermor, Colin Thubron, Paul Theroux , and Jan Morris.

    Comment by murdo — December 26, 2016 @ 11:39 am

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