Michael Palin shares Monty Python co-stars' heartfelt gesture following death of wife: 'Really appreciated'

Michael Palin and his wife

Michael Palin's wife Helen died in May 2023

Alex Davies

By Alex Davies

Published: 26/09/2023

- 00:06

Michael Palin's wife Helen Gibbins died in May this year

Michael Palin and his wife Helen had been married for 57 years before she died of kidney failure in May 2023.

The Monty Python said at the time of his loss that it was "indescribable for myself, our three children and four grandchildren".

Four months on, Palin is readying himself to release a new book titled Great-Uncle Harry, which he is dedicating to his late wife.

In a new interview, Palin has addressed his wife's death and her reaction to his upcoming book hitting the shelves.

The comedy-actor-turned-explorer admitted his wife had "hoped it'd do well" and that he spent several times together reading her his work.

Gibbins' fondest pieces of his work, however, were his diaries, the 80-year-old confessed.

monty pyhton

Michael Palin (second from right) with his Monty Pyhton co-stars in 2014


Following his wife's death, tributes from far and wide poured in from those closest to her as well as from fans across the globe.

This included from Palin's surviving Monty Python co-stars John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, and Eric Idle.

"We don’t speak to each other very often. There’s no ex-Pythons WhatsApp group or anything," Palin admitted when asked about his co-stars.

But he went on: "But we are in touch, and their reactions to Helen’s death, from all of them, were very touching, very immediate and very sincere.

WATCH HERE: Cleese on Python and new GB News show

"I really appreciated that," Palin said as he reminisced about the gesture from his Python co-stars.

Palin also addressed his own health woes after undergoing a heart operation back in 2019 following a "leaky mitral valve".

He said to Radio Times: "The heart seems to be keeping me going alright. I have a pacemaker now, and it all seems to be working very well.”

"I still find I’m able to get up and go out into the world. And there’s still so much to do, so much to see, so many people to meet. I’m very fortunate."

Palin continues to work on the small screen through his series of travel shows, most recently starring in Michael Palin: Into Iraq.

Meanwhile, his fellow Python Cleese is also preparing for an emphatic return to screens with his own GB News show.

GB News released a sneak peek at Cleese's new programme last month in which the actor will conduct a series of no-holds-barred interviews with some of the world's most famous faces.

Cleese has "complete creative freedom" over the show and has joined up with Free Speech Nation star Andrew Doyle who'll serve as executive producer with the first episode coming to the People's Channel soon.

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