Author(s): Michael Palin
This volume covers Palin's years as one of the stars of Monty Python, the anarchic series which broke the mould of television comedy. Here he records how Python emerged, developed and, at times, seemed to take over his life.Michael Palin has kept a diary since newly married in the late 1960s, when he was beginning to make a name for himself as a TV scriptwriter (for the Two Ronnies, David Frost etc). Monty Python was just around the corner.In this first volume of his diaries he tells for the first time how Python emerged and triumphed, how he, John Cleese, Graham Chapman, the two Terrys - Jones and Gilliam - and Eric Idle, came together and changed the face of British comedy. But this is but only part of Palin's story. Here is his growing family, his home in a north London Victorian terrace, which grows as he buys the houses next door and at the bottom of the garden, here, too, is his solo effort - as an actor, in Three Men in a Boat, his writing endeavours (often in partnership with Terry Jones) that produces Ripping Yarns, a pantomime and other theatrical plays.Meanwhile Monty Python refuses to go away: the hugely successful movies that follow the TV (his account of the making of The Holy Grail Python movie is a page-turner), the at times extraordinary goings on of the many powerful personalities who coalesced to form the Python team, the fight to prevent a American TV network from bleeping out the best jokes on US transmission - all this makes riveting reading.
Michael Palin's superstar status ensures a vast following. A string of No. 1 bestsellers have dominated the non-fiction lists. In similar vein to Alan Bennett's bestselling diaries Monty Python's Life of Brian voted the favourite comedy in a poll conducted by Channel 4 in January 2006 The Broadway hit musical, 'Monty Python's Spamalot', based on 'Monty Python and the Holy Grail' opens at London's Palace Theatre October 2006 Pre-pub serial over three days in Daily and Sunday Telegraph, including colour mag cover. Radio 4 - Michael Palin reading extracts as Book at Bedtime
'This combination of niceness, with his natural volubility, creates Palin's expansiveness.' -- David Baddiel THE TIMES 'Palin's style is so fluid, and his sincerity so palpable, that it is often easy to underestimate just how talented he is as a comedian, a broadcaster and a writer... they are just too good and his is too modest.' -- Ruth Cowen THE SUNDAY EXPRESS 'a real delight to read;' SAGA MAGAZINE 'his showbiz observations are so absorbing... Palin is an elegant and engaging writer.' -- William Cook THE GUARDIAN 'Palin's steady eye, contemplative bent and instinct for honest appraisal make him the perfect chronicler of a frequently insane period which saw the 'Monty Python' team become the most celebrated comedians in the world.' -- John O'Connell TIME OUT 'a slow burn, revealing its pleasures only gradually, and allowing readers the warm glow of hindsight denied its writer... this book will be the perfect present.' -- Marcus Berkmann THE SPECTATOR 'the charting of the haphazard and often perilous ascent of the Python phenomenon up the greasy pole of fame makes for delightful and often extraordinarily funny reading... An entertaining and at times deeply moving read. With nearly two decades of recent dairies still untapped, we may confidently sit back and wait for more.' -- Michael Simkins THE MAIL ON SUNDAY 'a wealth of fascinating stuff about Monty Python.' -- William Cook THE INDEPENDENT 'our favourite TV explorer shows us the workings of an unstoppable machine.' DAILY EXPRESS 'a riveting commentary to a remarkably creative decade.' ACADEMY
Michael Palin established his reputation with Monty Python's Flying Circus and Ripping Yarns. His work also includes several films with Monty Python, as well as The Missionary, A Private Function, an award-winning performance as the hapless Ken in A Fish Called Wanda and, more recently, American Friends and Fierce Creatures. His television credits include two films for the BBC's Greast Railway Journeys, the plays East of Ipswich and Number 27, and Alan Bleasdale's GBH. The books he wrote to accompany his TV travels have all been bestsellers.