Michael Palin to collect knighthood at Buckingham Palace ceremony

Actor and explorer Michael Palin is due to collect a knighthood at Buckingham Palace today, in the 50th anniversary year of Monty Python.

Sir Michael, 76, has been awarded the gong for services to travel, culture and geography following his successful second career as a travel writer and television presenter.

However, he is best known for his role in the Monty Python sketches, alongside John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and the late Graham Chapman.

The veteran actor paid tribute to his Monty Python co-stars and their relationship when he was named in the New Years Honours list.

Speaking in December, Sir Michael said: “Discovering there were five other people who had the same sort of sense of humour as myself and we all appreciated each other’s work and that the work that we did, both on television and film, is still being replayed and still being appreciated, that’s quite something, really, after 50 years.

“It will be 50 years since Python started [in 2019].

“That’s something that hit a high spot that will last forever, so I’m very grateful to all the other Pythons and I am very proud of Python.”

Palin, who was also awarded a CBE in 2000 for services to television, said he intends to keep working “for as long as I can” and that he is “constantly thinking” about new ideas.

Sir Michael will be joined at Wednesday’s investiture ceremony by one of the divers involved in last summer’s perilous cave rescue.

Vernon Unsworth will collect an MBE for service to cave diving, after he helped to rescue a football team of 12 young boys trapped in the Tham Luand Nang Non cave in Chang Rai, Thailand.

All 12 boys and their coach escaped unharmed after more than two weeks trapped by flood waters.

Mr Unsworth, from St Albans, said of his award: “This was a team effort and I’m very honoured to have been recognised, particularly as you don’t engage in a major rescue expecting this outcome.

“For me, after saving the boys, this is the icing on the cake.”