Sir Michael Palin: I am worried about the future of the BBC


Albertina Lloyd·Entertainment reporter, Yahoo UKTue, 6 April 2021, 10:16 am

File photo dated 04/10/2016 of Michael Palin whose life and career are to be celebrated in a BBC television special.
Michael Palin fears for the future of the BBC. (PA)

Sir Michael Palin has confessed he is concerned for the future of the BBC after noticing a change in attitude towards the broadcasting network.

The 77-year-old star of Monty Python’s Flying Circus and travel documentary maker is worried that the long-established institution is losing the admiration it has formerly held around the world.

Palin told Jeremy Paxman’s podcast The Lock In: “I am worried about the BBC because I believe the BBC to be one of the most important institutions in the country. An institution, having travelled the world, it is usually admired wherever I go – but I can see times are changing.”

Watch: My First Job: Michael Palin 0:03 1:29   My First Job: Michael Palin [MUSIC PLAYING]  

Read more: Sir Michael Palin clarifies house fire spoof

Asked by Paxman if the BBC was its own “worst enemy”, Palin, replied: “I think, yeah.”

Writer and actor Michael Palin with a globe, 8th October 1992. (Photo by Mike Maloney/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)
Sir Michael Palin has travelled the globe making documentaries for the BBC. (Getty Images)

The BBC was founded as a public service broadcaster back in 1922 and has long been hailed as an exemplary model of informative, educational and entertaining programme making.

But in recent years it has come under accusations of left-wing bias from Conservative MPs, as well as allegations of unequal pay and lack of diversity hiring.

The BBC is funded by the licence fee – which has just risen from £157.50 to £159 per year – and has also come under criticism recently when being compared to the cost of streaming services.

Palin said people were “conned” by claims other platforms are cheaper than the BBC.

British actor and television presenter Michael Palin poses with his medals after being appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG) during an investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace in London on June 12, 2019. (Photo by David Mirzoeff / POOL / AFP)        (Photo credit should read DAVID MIRZOEFF/AFP via Getty Images)
Sir Michael Palin was knighted in 2019. (Getty Images)

The actor and writer underwent heart surgery in 2019 for a leaky mitral valve.

Read more: Michael Palin reveals sweet final meeting with Terry Jones

He has long presented travel documentaries for the BBC – last travelling to North Korea for his documentary Michael Palin in North Korea in 2018.

And he said his recent heart operation will not stop him travelling.

Palin said: “I have another trip in me.”

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