MICHAEL PALIN is a scriptwriter, comedian, novelist, television presenter, actor and playwright, and is a former president of the Royal Geographical Society. He established his reputation with Monty Python's Flying Circus and Ripping Yarns. His work also includes several films with Monty Python, as well as The Missionary, A Private Function, A Fish Called Wanda, American Friends and Fierce Creatures. His television credits include two films for the BBC's Great Railway Journeys, the plays East of Ipswich and Number 27, and Alan Bleasdale's GBH. He has written books to accompany his eight very successful travel series including Himalaya and Pole to Pole, as well as three volumes of his diaries. He is the author of a number of children's stories, the play The Weekend and the novels Hemingway's Chair and The Truth.