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Michael Palin pays tribute to Alan Whicker at memorial service

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May 28, 2014 | 12:22pm EDT

Comedian and TV personality Michael Palin praised his late pal Alan Whicker as "a towering figure" in British broadcasting at a London memorial service on Wednesday (28May14). The BBC journalist and TV presenter died last July (13), aged 87, after a battle with bronchial pneumonia, and friends and family gathered at the Grosvenor Chapel in Mayfair to honour his memory. Monty Python veteran Palin, who once spoofed Whicker on TV, was among those who delivered touching eulogies, telling the crowd, "(He had the) enviable ability to deliver introductions and summings up that were as crisp and precise as the clothes in which he delivered them." Fellow broadcaster Sir Michael Parkinson also shared his memories of the Whicker's World host and hailed him for having "inspired an entire generation of young journalists" to pursue a career on TV. Parkinson added, "He never let celebrity cloud the business of being a proper journalist."

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