Monty Python star Michael Palin has reminded the British viewing public just how much of a national treasure he truly is with his latest travel documentary Michael Palin in North Korea.
The travel programme aired the first of two episodes on Channel 5 tonight (September 20) and followed Michael as he arrives in North Korea’s capital of Pyongyang and documents everyday life for the many millions of people who live and work in North Korea.
In the first episode, Michael visited a Korean school, where he challenged how much of the world outside of North Korea that the students knew about and revealed the focus schools put on developing athletic skills, as well as sharing a look at the daily life of North Koreans, from traffic wardens to hairdressers.
And through it all, viewers were praising Michael Palin and his open-minded approach to the country, with Ben Fogle among those lauding Palin as the “KING of the travelogue”.
During the programme, Michael also reflected on the fact that he’s aware that his North Korean guides aren’t showing him every side of the country, reflecting on the country’s propaganda and how it impacts daily life.
“I’m aware everything I’m being shown is designed to give me a positive image of North Korea,” he mused at one point. “But what I’m also realising is just how tightly everything is controlled […] the government controls it all, and there are no voices of dissent.”
Here in the UK, there were hardly any voices of dissent either, with most viewers praising the documentary as “fascinating”, “interesting”, “captivating”, and all the other good stuff:
Michael Palin in North Korea continues next Thursday (September 27) at 9pm on Channel 5.
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