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Last Updated: Monday, 25 April, 2005, 16:47 GMT 17:47 UK
Palin plays down quitting reports
Michael Palin
Palin was among the winners at the recent British Book Awards
Actor and TV presenter Michael Palin has played down reports he is to stop making travel programmes.

"Contrary to press rumour I have no intention of hanging up my boots," he said in a statement on Monday.

The Sunday Times newspaper had quoted him as saying he was "too old" to make another travel series on the scale of Sahara and Around the World in 80 Days.

But the former Monty Python star said he was only "taking a year's breather before deciding where to go next".

"All being well I shall be making television programmes until the next pair of boots wears out," he continued.

According to reports in the Sunday Times and Monday's Independent, Palin said last week that he "might do the odd one-off programme, but no more series and definitely no more long trips".

"I could never top Himalaya," he was quoted as saying. "I had a fantastic crew and I can't believe I'll be so lucky again."

Michael Palin in Sahara
Palin's travel series have taken him to more than 80 countries
But in his statement Palin says he "could not contemplate a life without travelling", which he describes as "stimulating, testing and rewarding".

The 61-year-old won TV & Film Book of the Year at the British Book Awards on Wednesday for Himalaya.

Palin's televised travels began in 1987 when he was one of several presenters to front Great Railway Journeys of the World.

A year later he recreated the global trip undertaken by Jules Verne's hero Phileas Fogg in Around the World in 80 Days.

That was followed by Pole to Pole, a trip around the Pacific in Full Circle, Michael Palin's Hemingway Adventure, Sahara and Himalaya.

In the past 17 years he has travelled 100,000 miles and visited more than 80 countries.

His adventures travels have seen him washing elephants in India, eating maggots and having an audience with the Dalai Lama, who greeted him with the words: "I know you, I've seen you on television."

Earlier this month the Sheffield-born presenter won a special Bafta award for his television career.

Meanwhile, Monty Python musical Spamalot has set new box office records on Broadway. It has taken 473,000 in one week at the Shubert Theatre and has just been nominated for best musical of the 2004-2005 season by the Drama League and the Outer Critics Circle.

  • Michael Palin's statement in full:

    "Special message to boot-makers from Michael Palin.

    Contrary to press rumour I have absolutely no intention of hanging up my boots. Though I may well discard the current pair, for reasons of hygiene, they will instantly be replaced so that I can continue what I enjoy so much - the process of seeing and learning about the world.

    I could not contemplate a life without travelling. It is fulfilling, stimulating, testing and rewarding. My appetite for strange places and the odd maggot sandwich remains unimpaired.

    For the record, I am taking a year's breather before deciding where to go next. The BBC, who have been wonderfully supportive, know that, my crew know that, even my wife has reluctantly accepted it.

    I shall continue to travel. I was in Denmark two weeks ago and I'll be in Italy next week. And all being well I shall be making television travel programmes until the next pair of boots wears out, and the ones after that."

    In pictures: Michael Palin
    25 Apr 05 |  In Pictures
    Spamalot arrives on Broadway
    18 Mar 05 |  Entertainment
    Palin braves the desert
    03 Oct 02 |  Entertainment
    Palin's Ernest endeavour
    18 Oct 99 |  Entertainment


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