Sir Michael Palin cancels book tour to undergo heart surgery

Sir Michael Palin has revealed he will undergo surgery in September to fix a heart valve.

The Monty Python star's forthcoming book tour across the UK in October has been cancelled so he can recover.

The comedian and TV veteran said he hopes to feel "better than normal" following a three-month recovery period.

Sir Michael, 76, wrote on his blog: "Five years ago, a routine health check revealed a leaky mitral valve in my heart.

"Until the beginning of this year it had not affected my general level of fitness.

"Recently, though, I have felt my heart having to work harder and have been advised it's time to have the valve repaired.

"I shall be undergoing surgery in September and should be back to normal, or rather better than normal, within three months."

Referring to a quote from Monty Python's The Meaning Of Life, Sir Michael called the post The Machine That Goes "Ping!".

Sir Michael, also known for his travel documentaries and books, was due to head out across the UK from October 16-30 to talk about his new book, North Korea Journal, which follows his 2018 Channel 5 documentary about his experience in the secretive nation.

Publisher Penguin said that all tickets to the tour will be refunded.