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Environmentally Friendly Vehicles Conference

John Stephens Photography & Video  | 10 November 2005 | National Motorcycle Museum

Biography- Michael Palin

Michael Palin was born in Sheffield, went to Shrewsbury School and then to Oxford where he read history, performed in many comedy shows, and started working with fellow writer and performer Terry Jones.

After Oxford, Michael and Terry went on to write for various BBC comedy shows, notably The Frost Report and The Two Ronnies. In 1967, they teamed up with Eric Idle to write and perform the childrenís comedy series, Do Not Adjust Your Set.

In 1969 came Monty Pythonís Flying Circus, which firmly established Michaelís comic reputation along with his five collaborators Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle and Terry Jones. This team made forty-five Python episodes and five feature films including Monty Python and The Holy Grail, Monty Pythonís Life of Brian and The Meaning of Life. At BAFTA, in 1987, the Monty Python team received the Michael Balcon Award for outstanding contribution to Cinema.

Michaelís other feature film acting credits include Terry Gilliamís cult feature Brazil, Jabberwocky, The Missionary, which he wrote, Time Bandits, written with Terry Gilliam, American Friends, which he also co-wrote, A Private Function, A Fish Called Wanda, which won him a BAFTA Award for best supporting actor, and Fierce Creatures.

For television, Michael and Terry Jones wrote Tomkinsonís Schooldays which led to the Ripping Yarns series. Amongst Michaelís other television writing credits are the screenplays East of Ipswich and Number 27 for the

BBC. In 1991, Michael played one of the leads in GBH, Alan Bleasdaleís highly acclaimed series for Channel 4. In 1994, his first stage play The Weekend was produced in the West End with Richard Wilson in the lead. A year later his best-selling novel Hemingwayís Chair was published.

A self-confessed dromomaniac (travel addict), Michael contributed to two BBC series of Great Railway Journeys of the World, in 1980 and 1994. He also indulged his wanderlust in five huge adventures for the BBC, Around the World in 80 Days, Pole to Pole, Full Circle, Hemingway Adventure and Sahara, which were enormously successful and award-winning television series, books and audios.

Michaelís interest in art has led to his presenting four BBC documentaries, one on the painter Anne Redpath, Palin on Redpath (1997), the second on the Scottish Colourists, The Bright Side of Life (2000), and the third, on the extraordinary American art collectors, the Cone sisters, The Ladies who Loved Matisse (2003). His latest, on little known Danish artist Vilhelm Hammershoi, Michael Palin and the Mystery of Hammershoi was broadcast on BBC1 (2005)

Michaelís sixth travel documentary series, Himalaya (2004), was shown on BBC Television in 2004, and an accompanying book published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson. Michael was made a CBE in the 2000 New Yearís Honours List for services to television drama & travel. In 2002 he received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the British Comedy Awards and in 2005 Michael was given a BAFTA Special Award.

He lives in North London with his wife Helen and three cats.

data produced with permission from lewisgroup

Defra, UK - About Defra - Ministers - Ministers' speeches - Speech by Elliot Morley at the International Environmentally Friendly Vehicles Conference, Birmingham, 10 November 2005

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