About his new book "Diaries 1967-1979: The Python Years" Michael Palin chatted to an observer interviewer in front of a full 700 seater auditorium, Logan Hall, UCL.
We were lucky ticket holders and go there early for good seats - not quite as good as John Cleese (front row) who eventually dismissed a gathering crowd of fans - but good enough.
Michael answered the questions in his own endearing way and we all smiled back the whole time. The focus was on Monty Python although the questions were aptly paced to cover a range of subjecs. We learnt how the diaries came about (firstly a self-chastised waste of time to start, then after two years, a humongous waste of time if stopped), how they explained his difficult times with the movies and onwards to the ongoing legacy of Python and reflecting on where it has brought him
I'm on the cusp of being too young for Monty Python and really, The Michael Palin I know and admire is the traveler (80 days, Pole to Pole, Full Circle etc). Fortunately, amongst the typical USA Q&As; what's you favorite scene (fish slapping dance), character (Crucifixion Coordinator), sound effect("Ni")? were some interesting points about his trips, how nothing is embellished as you'd expect and his desire to have stayed in touch with some characters without whom the journeys would've come crashing down.
Wishing for more the evening came to an end... well except for 4 hours of book-signing we decided to sidestep.