Michael Palin (1943-)
Michael Palin, comedian, actor, writer and television presenter, was born in Broomhill, Sheffield on 5th May 1943. His father was an engineer working for a steel firm.
He was educated at Birkdale preparatory school, Sheffield, and later at Shrewsbury School, Shrewsbury. In 1962 he went on to read modern history at Brasenose College, Oxford.
After leaving university, Palin worked with Terry Jones whom he had met at Oxford, writing comedy for various BBC programmes, like The Ken Dodd Show, The Billy Cotton Bandshow and The Illustrated Weekly Hudd. Palin and Jones were also in the team of writers working for The Frost Report. Other members of this team were the future Monty Python members, Graham Chapman, John Cleese and Eric Idle.
Monty Python's Flying Circus (1969-74) saw Palin and Jones united with Cleese, Chapman, Idle and animator Terry Gilliam to create what was to become one of British television's most influential comedy series. The show quickly attracted a cult audience for the originality of its humour, making the writers and performers worldwide stars.
Palin followed Monty Python's Flying Circus with his own comedy series, Ripping Yarns (1976-79) which parodied early twentieth century Boys' Own adventure stories, Palin starred in each episode of this series which he co-wrote with Terry Jones.
He next concentrated instead on feature films, co-writing and co-starring in all four Python feature films between 1971 and 1983. Other films included: Jabberwocky (1977), The Missionary (1981), A Private Function (1984), A Fish Called Wanda (1988), American Friends (1991).
Starting in 1989, Palin appeared as presenter in a series of travel programmes made for BBC Television: Around The World In 80 Days Pole To Pole Full Circle With Michael Palin  Michael Palin's Hemingway Adventure Sahara  Himalaya With Michael Palin.