Palin: My filming days are over

...but a radio show might be on the cards

Michael Palin says he doesn’t expect to make any more movies or TV shows – other than his acclaimed travelogues.

He said he hated the tedious process of filming, especially on big-budget productions, but did hint that he would like to make a radio series.

‘Filming involves sitting around in a caravan for rive hours – in complete luxury – reading every property magazine around; only to be told you won’t be needed that day,’ he said. ‘I haven’t the patience for that.

‘On the journeys, we only have seven people, plus a few more back in the office, and we’re working from sunlight until seven, eight o’clock at night. So we’re incredibly busy but we also get almost total control of the programme.

‘But I am rather interested in doing a radio show of some kind. I do love radio’

Palin, whose last film was Fierce Creatures almost a decade ago, was talking at an event in London last night to promote his newly published diaries covering the Python years 1969 to 1979.

He told the audience, which included John Cleese, that even though Monty Python made his name, ‘it was the peak of my comedy career’.

‘I don’t think we ever let ourselves down or compromised,’ he said. ‘And we never got that back. There are other things I’ve done that I’ve felt were great, but in a slightly different way.’

He also said that he feared dialogue-quoting Python nerds have spoiled the show for others.

‘There are real Python fans who know every line of every sketch – better than even we could. When we’d perform on stage, we’d pause for comedic effect and someone would always jump in as if we’d forgotten our lines.

‘That sort of manic enthusiasm might drive people to dislike Python – and it probably did.’

Palin also revealed that originally, Life Of Brian was to be a direct parody of the Gospel story, before the team decided to focus on a reluctant, false Messiah instead.

‘We had stuff about the Last Supper and not being able to get a table for 12,’ he told the audience, to delighted laughter, mimicking a waiter saying: ‘We could do you a table for three – but you have to be out by nine.’

‘By your reaction, maybe we should have done that,’ he said. ‘But we thought that tackling Jesus head-on would be asking for trouble.’

Click here to order Palin's diaries from Amazon.

Published: 29 Nov 2006

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