Drawing: Michael Palin

Monty Python’s Michael Palin is referred to as ‘Britain’s nicest man’. In his 2009 Telegraph interview with Marc Lee, entitled ‘He’s not a Messiah, but a very nice man’, Michael said it was because of his “amenable conciliatory character.”

After university he teamed up with fellow Oxford graduate Terry Jones to write for TV shows such as the RIPPING YARNS, DO NOT ADJUST YOUR SET and THE FROST REPORT, which was the first time all the British Python’s – Michael, Terry and John Cleese, Eric Idle and Graham Chapman worked together before creating the iconic MONTY PYTHON’S FLYING CIRCUS. They were joined by Terry Gilliam who was an American citizen.

After that Michael journeyed to all corners of the planet many times over as a travel writer and documentarian. His career has also been sprinkled with notable film appearances, including his BAFTA-winning supporting role as Ken Pile in 1988’s A FISH CALLED WANDA. It was the first of four BAFTA’s awarded to Michael. In 2013 he was the given the Fellowship the British Academy’s highest honour. I did this Python/Wanda montage and dropped it into his London agent’s office where Britain’s nicest man signed it for me with a nice inscription.

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Drawing: Bonnie Langford as The Lady of the Lake in Monty Python’s Spamalot

bonnie langford

I kept meaning to catch up with musical theatre icon Bonnie Langford and finally I did so over the weekend after a matinée performance of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels at London’s Savoy Theatre.

Bonnie plays the glamorous divorcée Muriel Enbanks and signed this sketch of her as the Lady of the Lake from Spamalot.

Ever since winning the talent show Opportunity Knocks as a six year old and taking to the stage a year later in Gone With The Wind, Bonnie has been a crowd favourite. She has played all the big shows – Cats, Me and My Girl and the role of Roxy Hart in Chicago on both the West End and Broadway stages.

She began playing The Lady of the Lake in the UK tour in early 2012 before a three month run at the Harold Pinter Theatre (formerly The Comedy Theatre) later in 2012, then two stints at the Playhouse Theatre in May-November 2013 and February-March 2014.