THE LAST WORD... ‘ I think I have been rather nostalgic lately. started’ It’s been almost 50 years since I
WITH MICHAEL PALIN, THECLANGERS
“I was asked out of the blue if I would like to be the voice of a remake of The Clangers series (a cartoon for children about pink knitted mice). I was thrilled, because this is a classic of children’s television and I remember it so fondly. When I had my eldest son, he was two or three then, and we watched The Clangers together (in the early 1970s). I absolutely loved it. I found it hypnotic – a lovely, relaxing experience.
Not having any children at home now, I watch the ones I’ve recorded with my wife. And quite often we’ll end up quite tearful. We are both quite moved by the show, I think because there is an essential innocence and goodness there, without it being too contrived or too sentimental.
I’m not sure why they decided to ask me ... I suppose I do have a very recognisable voice. I’m afraid it’s one of those things: I don’t particularly like being famous, but there are advantages – when you’ve been waiting on the line for six hours to have your Sky Television (UK’s version of Foxtel) fixed and someone says, ‘Is that Michael Palin? Oh, I love your stuff!’ Then you know you are going to get something done!
I have been lucky to have had a very diverse career. I’ve always gone with the flow. And I have always found it very difficult to say no. Because I have never had a salaried job at all people can ask me to do all sorts of things. I’ve done a bit of acting, a bit of writing, and a series of art programs.
I am in a very fortunate position of being able to try lots of different things. Offers are still coming in and I find it still quite hard to resist. I am trying now to slow down a bit, because I have got my family and three grandchildren and I don’t want to always be telling them I can’t see them because I have got to go down to the TV studio or do some theatre. I am trying to get the balance right. But I love being tempted.
I think I have been rather nostalgic lately. The thing is, it’s been almost 50 years since I started working on The Frost Report in London, which was my first real professional job. So there is a lot of past there to look back on … but you have got to have something fresh otherwise you sort of feel, ‘Oh well, that’s it’.”