MICHAEL PALIN is a scriptwriter, comedian, novelist, television presenter, actor and playwright. He established his reputation with Monty Python’s Flying Circus and Ripping Yarns. His work also includes several films with Monty Python, as well as The Missionary, A Private Function, A Fish Called Wanda, American Friends and Fierce Creatures. His television credits include two films for the BBC’s Great Railway Journeys, the plays East of Ipswich and Number 27, and Alan Bleasdale’s GBH.
In 2006 the first volume of his diaries, 1969-1979: The Python Years, spent several weeks on the bestseller lists. He has also written books to accompany his seven very successful travel series: Around the World in 80 Days (an updated edition of which was published in 2008, twenty years later), Pole to Pole, Full Circle, Hemingway Adventure, Sahara, Himalaya and New Europe. Most have been No 1 bestsellers and Himalaya was No 1 for 11 weeks. He is the author of a number of children’s stories, the play The Weekend and the novel Hemingway’s Chair. Visit his website at www.palinstravels.co.uk.
Basil Pao began his photographic career in 1980 on his return to Hong Kong after ten years in the United States, where he was an art director for Atlantic, Polygram and Warner Bros. He first worked with Michael Palin on the design for the book accompanying Monty Python’s Life of Brian. They have since collaborated on the books based on his seven travel series. In 2007 he wrote and photographed China Revealed: A Portrait of the Rising Dragon.