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Michael Palin

TV review: The Wipers Times, BBC2 - A bit like Blackadder, only true

What would you do if you stumbled upon an abandoned printing press amid the hell of the First World War? The answer, according to Ian Hislop and Nick Newman's entertaining The Wipers Times, is bring out a satirical newspaper taking swipes at everyone from the top brass to the "Boche".

Holy Grail producer: 'I made film funnier'

The producer behind Monty Python And The Holy Grail yesterday told the High Court that the cult film would have been "much less funny" without his input as he sued for an equal share of its profits.

The 10 Best travel DVDs

1. Encounters at the End of the World

£10.99, hmv.com

Director Werner Herzog comes up trumps in this documentary about the polar explorers of the National Science Foundation Station.

Andy Allan: ITV Director of Programmes who launched 'Morse' but axed

A television presenter-turned-executive who ran three different ITV companies, Andy Allan is destined to be remembered as the man who axed Crossroads, but he was also responsible for some of television's biggest successes. When Ted Childs, his controller of drama at Central Independent Television, and the producer Kenny McBain proposed a crime series based on Colin Dexter's Inspector Morse novels, with each story presented in a then unusual two-hour slot, Allan persuaded other sceptical ITV executives to accept it and the programme, starring John Thaw, ran from 1987 to 2000.

John Cleese plans 'alimony tour' to pay his ex-wife

John Cleese is to embark on his first-ever UK tour next year at the age of 71. The comedian, who recently agreed a divorce settlement believed to be in the region of £12m, has dubbed it the "Alimony Tour".

Josh Lewsey's Everest diary: Monty Python and SPAM

England rugby star Josh Lewsey is undertaking the ultimate challenge in attempting to summit Mount Everest in aid of Help for Heroes. He'll be writing an exclusive diary during the expedition which you can keep up to date with here at The Independent.

Nudge, nudge: Eric Idle on 40 years of Monty Python

'Life of Brian' has been resurrected as something completely different: an oratorio for orchestra, 160 choristers and four of the surviving Pythons. It is, Eric Idle tells Andrew Johnson, very silly indeed

More headlines

Britons urged to try a simple act of kindness

Juliet Stevenson, Michael Palin and the Archbishop of Canterbury are among the first of thousands across Britain to put time aside for refugees as part of a campaign to acknowledge their contribution to the country.

BBC bosses almost lost faith in 'disgusting' Monty Python

One of the BBC's most enduring comedy programmes, Monty Python's Flying Circus, almost met the same fate as the famous Norwegian blue parrot whose lifeless state was immortalised in a sketch featuring John Cleese and Michael Palin.

Dream Teams: Crewe Alexandra

In the 1979 BBC documentary, Great Railway Journeys of the World, as the camera pans over Crewe Alexandra's Gresty Road stadium, the inimitable Michael Palin describes the South Chesire town as "like those other railway towns, Swindon and Doncaster, possessed of a football team which is perpetually propping up the bottom of the Fourth Division".