michael palin quotes

I don't see why it should be remarkable that you can acquire a reputation for fairness and decency. Those are qualities shared by so many people. And the great majority of people I meet are decent people, just trying to navigate their way through the world without causing too much trouble.

There is nothing better than playing a scene with John Cleese or Maggie Smith. It's electric. But I don't think I'm the sort of person who needs to have an outer ego in order to produce something. I realised that through the travel programmes.

There are people who travel because they want to push themselves to physical limits, people who walk across deserts or cycle across the Antarctic - like Ranulph Fiennes, who just does it because it's there. And then there are people like me, who are just genuinely curious about the world.

I've always been blessed, or cursed, some might say, with an insatiable curiosity, a desire to find something out about a people and a place. That's where it all begins.

Armageddon is not around the corner. This is only what the people of violence want us to believe. The complexity and diversity of the world is the hope for the future.

Contrary to what the politicians and religious leaders would like us to believe, the world won't be made safer by creating barriers between people.

I was very bad at projecting my voice. I used to do this Gumby Flower Arranging sketch which involved shouting, and I could never do it right, and at one point my voice went completely.

I think you learn a lot about a country from its art. To me, it's part of the drama of life. It teaches you that there are places, moments and incidents in other cultures that genuinely have a life of their own.

I wanted to be an explorer, but gradually found the world had been explored and that there was nowhere left, really. Once they climbed Everest in 1953, when I was 10 years old, I thought, 'Well, that's pretty much it now.' But the idea of travelling and exploring and adventure was very strong.

Something about John Cleese was always very unsettled, I felt. There was always something else he wanted to do. He seemed constantly driven by this sense that there was a nirvana somewhere; some unique place where mind, body and soul would be utterly satisfied.

I do have high standards. I look at everything I have done and think, 'Why wasn't that better?' Part of my motivation is from crippling self-doubt - I have got to prove myself wrong.

If you had a successful TV show, people wanted to see you live. Promoters had had practice with pop groups, and 'Python' achieved a similar status. We also had lots of rock star fans - George Harrison, Pink Floyd, Robert Plant. Promoters saw that and liked it.

People look for patterns in everything. It's what keeps us sane, I suppose. I struggle to see any patterns in my life. I think I can understand depression a bit because of my sister. My own feelings of... I'm aware that, if you feel down, it can be strangely unrelated to circumstances around you. That's just the way life is.

I've never had a particular skill. I can't cook, dance, play an instrument, speak a foreign language. This used to worry me. I'd think, when I'm grown up, at 18, then I made it 21, it will be clear what role I should have in life. It never happened. I never signed on the dotted line as the sort of adult my father wanted.

'The Truth' is not meant to preach or point any fingers. It's meant to show that perhaps we should all avoid taking the moral high ground unless we have thought about things a bit more.

You don't ask people about the immigration policies of the U.K. or their country's agricultural policy. Instead, you talk to them about the meal they're eating or their family, and from that you get the sense of another human being, someone we can all relate to.

I know that we shall meet problems along the way, but I'd far rather see for myself what's going on in the world outside, than rely on newspapers, television, politicians and religious leaders to tell me what I should be thinking.

I've been lucky to have made a number of travel programmes with the BBC, the object being to see places off the beaten track. As a result, I've often had a guide who's been able to show me things that you wouldn't see with a tour group.

When I'm travelling, I always take my little notebook and scribble things down as I watch them; I'm very much geared to everything that's happening. Whereas, the diary I keep is just about a record of a day I've spent. When I'm filming, I'm looking quite intensely at everything I see and trying to get my own eye on what we're going through.

Fame changes everything. When you're well-known, you're expected to be different. Some people assume you must have a yacht and four homes. Or that you're famous because you are 'A Decent Man'.

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