Michael Palin: 5 facts about the TV presenter

Michael Palin: 5 facts about the TV presenter


Emmy Griffiths

TV presenter Michael Palin is perhaps best known for his amazing travel documentaries – which he will be returning to on Sunday with his new retrospective show, Michael Palin: Travels of a Lifetime. But how much do you know about the famous face? Find out everything you need to know about the national treasure here… 

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How old is Michael Palin?

Michael is 77-years-old and celebrates his birthday on 5 May. He underwent a heart operation back in 2017 to fix a valve, and wrote about the health scare on his blog. explaining: “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.” 

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“Over the last year I discovered a rather enjoyable equilibrium, a balance between work and relaxation that for the first time in my life favoured the latter.” 

Is Michael Palin married?

Michael tied the knot with wife Helen Gibbins back in 1966 after a six-year relationship, and they have certainly lasted the test of time! Michael fictionalised their first meeting – on holiday in Suffolk – in the TV show East of Ipswich. 


Michael has been to some amazing places over the years

Speaking about his ‘nice guy’ image to the Independent, he previously mentioned his wife, saying: “I have never claimed to be the nicest man in the world. That’s a cliché that has somehow come to be widely accepted. It drives Helen mad. As she and my children will testify, I have a short fuse over certain things. Like if the one-inch nails are not where they should be in the box, and they’ve been moved to the three-inch section. Who did this?

Does Michael Palin have children? 

Michael and Helen share three children, Tom, Will and Rachel, and four grandchildren. Rachel works as a TV director at the BBC, while Will is the Director of Conservation at the Old Royal Naval College, impressive! 

The late Terry Jones previously opened up about Michael, telling the Independent: “Michael’s children told me that they used to call him Mr Grumpy. He can get ratty, as anybody can, especially when he’s not eaten. When I watch his travel programmes, I can actually tell when he’s hungry.” 


Michael has three children and four grandchildren

What is Michael Palin’s net worth? 

According to Celebrity Net Worth, Michael is worth a whopping £19million ($25million), having earned royalties for his work in Monty Python as well as The Ken Dodd Show and A Fish Called Wanda. He also, of course, made his mark as a travel presenter, and has made a series of travels shows, including his latest project, Michael Palin: Travels of a Lifetime. He previously told Financial Times that his biggest spending extravagance was “buying paintings”. 

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What is Michael Palin’s new show about? 

The new series, Michael Palin: Travels of a Lifetime, will look at how Michael became an ‘accidental’ traveller when he accepted an offer to go around the world in 80 days. The BBC synopsis reads: “He looks back on the programmes and his diaries to reveal how the series was made and the impact it had, while fans and friends -including Sir David Attenborough, Joanna Lumley and Simon Reeve – reflect on his achievements.” 

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