Michael Palin recalls eating days old camel liver in Algeria that made him sick
Sir Michael Palin stopped by The One Show to reminisce over his days filming for his many travel series, but had us all feeling a little queasy as he recalled one unfortunate encounter with a camel’s liver.
The presenter, 77, had been filming for his show Michael Palin: Sahara, that first broadcast in 2002, when he was offered a local delicacy while out in Algeria.
Michael was given camel’s liver only to find that it was a few days old and speaking to hosts Alex Jones and Chris Ramsay, he recalled it having a nasty effect on his stomach when he was trying to film.
So much so, that he was left violently throwing up mid-way through interviewing a gorilla leader. Now, that’s one story to tell the grandkids.
Michael explained: ‘I believe that you have to eat the food you’re offered, that it’s a way of creating a bridge with people – accepting hospitality. But, when I had some camel liver in Algeria… it was a bit old.
‘It was old before I ate it – two days old, or two years it smelt like – I was extremely ill all day and we had to go out. I had to interview a gorilla leader in the middle of the desert.’
The Monty Python star continued: ‘I would ask him a couple of questions, go outside, throw up, ask him some more questions… that was sort of the most arduous days filming ever, but you never had a particularly easy day.’
Over his career, Michael has filmed many much-loved travel docu-series since 1980, including Pole to Pole in 1992 that saw him take on an epic journey travelling from the North to the South pole across 17 countries and 23,000 miles, using minimum air travel.
But, Michael – who is set to appear in The Simpsons – was a comedian before turning his attentions to making travel documentaries and he remembers receiving a phone call ‘out of the blue’ offering him his first travel doc job.
‘Out of the blue, this phone call comes through and says, “will you go round the world in 80 days?” They were terribly keen, so I signed up,’ he said.
Michael joked: ‘Only later did I find out that I was the fifth person to be asked to do it. Noel Edmonds turned it down.’
The star was awarded a knighthood for his services to travel, culture and geography over the years and was recently seen joining forces with legendary broadcaster David Attenborough to discuss the coronavirus pandemic.
The One Show airs weeknights on BBC One at 7pm.
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