Michael Palin: The veteran presenter quits travel shows

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Sir Michael Palin has had a long career that involved travelling around all kinds of locations in the world, find out why he's retiring.

After four decades of traveling all around the world and documenting his experiences in various countries and locations, The Mirror reports that Sir Michael Palin has decided to 'hang up his passport.'

The veteran actor, presenter, and travel enthusiast went through heart surgery in 2019, and recently finished a trip to Iraq. Upon his return, he made the announcement that this might be one of his last trips.

Michael Palin: The veteran presenter quits travel shows Dave J Hogan

Retiring at the peak

Following his success with Monty Python in the 70s, Sir Palin started making travel documentaries in the 1980s, a career that he has religiously maintained. Now, at the age of 79, he has expressed concerns about whether he'll be able to make long trips anymore, particularly to locations that might have some danger attached to them.

Before setting off to Iraq for a Channel 5 series, Sir Palin had visited North Korea and these two locations might end up being his penultimate destinations before he retires, reports The Mirror.

He said:

I feel enormously privileged and grateful that I’ve done as much ­travelling as I have in the last 35 years. There have been good times, ­interesting times, exciting times, and adventure. But at a certain point you do have to be careful about what you do next.

He added that his experience in Iraq was quite enjoyable, but jokingly noted that 'Channel 5 seem quite keen on taking me to places where I could get killed.'

Michael Palin: The veteran presenter quits travel shows Mirrorpix

Possible health concerns

In 2019 there was quite a health scare for the travel enthusiast as he had to undergo surgery due to a 'leaky mitral valve' which is a small flap that facilitates the flow of blood from one chamber of the heart to the other, reports Express.

He reflected on his health scare saying:

My heart scare reminded me that my body isn’t indestructible and if I want to keep it that way I must know when to stop working as well as when to start again.

It is no surprise that the presenter would choose to tone down on making long trips as the circumstances related to his health are different now. That being said, Sir Palin is still open to making one last trip somewhere, reports The Mirror.

Michael Palin: The veteran presenter quits travel shows Mike Marsland

An illuminating trip to Iraq

One of the primary reasons for visiting Iraq according to Sir Palin is to change the perception that it's just a war-torn country, and that there is more to the nation than that, reports Metro.

Sir Palin said:

The journey was an eye-opener, a succession of new experiences, new places and new people to meet, a fascinating adventure in a land where past, present and future are unlike anywhere else I’ve ever been. It was a pleasure and a privilege to be back on the road.’

Sir Palin found success with his documentaries due to his nuanced approach to travel and his ability to connect with people.

Speaking to The Guardian, he said:

I always found that my travels gave me a different perspective and a much wider perspective, away from the west as a center of the world’s ideas, and to see your own country and your own people from a different perspective. Remember, we are all members of the human race.
Michael Palin: The veteran presenter quits travel shows Samir Hussein

The direction that Sir Palin decides to take is uncertain at this moment, especially since the passing of his wife, Helen. There just might be one more journey, or his trip to Iraq might end up being the final journey. That being said, the contributions that Sir Palin has made in terms of expanding the perspectives of viewers on different countries and cultures are most certainly appreciated by many.

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© Samir Hussein

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