THE LAST WORD... ‘ I think I have been rather nos­tal­gic lately. started’ It’s been al­most 50 years since I


The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - TV Guide - - THE LAST WORD.. -

“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’.”

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