The legend that is Michael Palin will get an hour long celebration documentary early next year. Michael Palin: A Life on Screen (A BAFTA – Whizzkid Production for BBC Two) will take a look back at the comedian/actor/writer/presenter featuring contributions from the likes of John Cleese, David Jason and Connie Booth, who share their fond memories and candid stories of working with Michael.
Palin started out as a writer for The Frost Report and The Late Show, before the Bafta-winning Monty Python’s Flying Circus firmly established his comic reputation. As a founding member of the world-renowned comedy group he wrote and starred in 45 Python episodes and five feature films.
Palin’s dramatic roles on television have included political drama GBH, for which he was nominated for a Bafta in 1992. He has also written and presented a host of critically-acclaimed travel documentaries, including Bafta-winning programmes Around The World In 80 Days, Pole To Pole, Michael Palin’s Hemingway Adventure, Sahara, and Bafta-nominated Full Circle, Himalaya, New Europe and Brazil, and also the arts documentary Michael Palin And The Mystery Of Hammershoi.
Clare Brown, Director of Production at Bafta, says: “We are thrilled to have this opportunity to shine a spotlight on Michael Palin’s wonderful career. Michael is hugely talented and his work has inspired so many people to discover their own love of comedy and travel throughout the past five decades.”
Katherine Allen, Executive Producer at Whizz Kid Entertainment, says: “We are delighted to be working with Bafta Productions and BBC Two once again, to celebrate the life and career of one of Britain’s best-loved actors and presenters, Michael Palin. Michael has some truly wonderful stories to tell and his in-depth interview for the programme is a joy to watch.”
Kate Phillips, Controller Entertainment Commissioning at the BBC, who commissioned the programme for BBC Two, says: “Bafta and Whizz Kid have made a terrific programme paying tribute to one of the country’s most versatile talents. Whether he’s making us laugh, making us cry or showing us the world through new eyes he is, and will always be, at the top of his game.”
Palin has also received Bafta recognition for his film work; in 1989 he received the Bafta for Leading Actor for his performance in A Fish Called Wanda, and The Monty Python team was honoured at the 1988 British Academy Film Awards with the Michael Balcon Award for Outstanding Contribution To Cinema.
More recently, Palin received a Bafta Fellowship at the British Academy Television Awards in 2013, in recognition of his outstanding and exceptional contribution to the moving image industries.
The Life On Screen series is produced and directed by Samantha Peters of Whizz Kid Entertainment, in partnership with Bafta Productions, for BBC Two.