Beloved British comedian Michael Palin is to be celebrated with a BBC TV special focusing on his life and career.
Bosses at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) and the BBC have teamed up to create a program to honor the Monty Python star’s achievements over his five decades in show business.
“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,” Clare Brown, Director of Production at BAFTA, said in a press release.
The program, which will air in the new year (18), follows a similar tribute to fellow British comedian Lenny Henry last December.
After leaving university in 1965, Michael helped found iconic British comedy troupe Monty Python alongside Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle and Terry Jones, before embarking on a career as a travel broadcaster.
He has also starred in a number of movies, most recently playing Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov in Armando Iannucci’s acclaimed satire The Death of Stalin.
At the premiere of the movie, the 74-year-old told WENN about catching up with his old friend Terry Jones, who is suffering from dementia.
“I’ve seen Terry recently, about two-and-a-half weeks ago, we try and keep in touch,” he said. “He’s going through this process unfortunately. It’s a form of dementia which is progressive, it’s not going to suddenly disappear. Dementia doesn’t, and the unfortunate thing is in Terry’s case it’s deprived him of speech really. He can’t say very much, so you’re not quite sure what’s going on inside him, but I still see him, he gives me a hug, we have a drink.”
Michael has won four BAFTA Awards over the course of his career, including the BAFTA Fellowship he was granted in 2013.