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Listen to Excess Baggage for

22 September 2007


Sandi Toksvig
is joined by Michael Palin and Bruce Parry, two of television’s most inveterate travellers.  Between them they have circumnavigated the globe several times, as well as visiting some of the most remote parts of the world.  Both are known for taking the viewer to places where cameras rarely film or even have never been seen before.  But can the experience of travelling with a TV crew ever give an authentic insight into the people and places on the journey?

Presented by Sandi Toksvig

Stari Most - city of Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Photo: Stari Most - city of Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina

This week’s guests:

Michael Palin is the former member of Monty Python’s Flying Circus who as an actor has appeared in many films including East of Ipswich, the Missionary, A Fish called Wanda and all the Monty Python films as well as television series such as Ripping Yarns, Black and Blue, GBH, Wind in the Willows.  He is President of Transport 2000.

Michael has made many travel documentaries for the BBC starting in 1980 with an episode of Great Railways Journeys of the World.  His hugely popular series have taken him around the world in 80 days, from pole to pole, across the Sahara and up the Himalayas.

In his latest journey Michael explores the little known but vast territory on our own doorstep - the twenty or so countries that make up Eastern Europe.  His journey takes place in a rare moment in history when there is no war being waged on the continent.  Michael finds out whether the continent is changing as these countries are absorbed into the EU and asks if they will lose their individuality and traditions in exchange for peace.

New Europe
Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson
ISBN-10: 0297844490
ISBN-13: 978-0297844495

Michael will be talking about the New Europe journey on Wednesday 26 September the Institute of Education in London and on Monday 8th October at 1830 at the Royal Geographical Society in London

Michael Palin’s New Europe
BBC ONE Sundays at 9pm 

Bruce Parry has had many careers.  He started out life as a Royal Marine Commando at the age of eighteen where he specialized as a Physical Training Instructor.  After leaving the Marines, Bruce spent a couple of years at Loughborough University studying PE and sport before leaving early to lead science and conservation expeditions to the rainforests of Borneo, Sumatra, Sulawesi and Java working with orangutans, tiger, rhino and turtles.

Bruce then left the expedition world to join the ranks of the film industry.  In early 2004 BBC Wales won a commission for a series for BBC 2 about indigenous peoples around the world.  The series producer Steve Robinson asked Bruce to present it.  Together they worked on the finer details of the premise of the series and the resulting six hour-long episodes took over eighteen months to make.

Now in the making of the third series, Bruce has lived with tribes and communities very remote from western culture, from the hot and humid jungles of the tropics to the frozen expanses of the Arctic. By participating in their everyday lives he tries to see what lessons they can teach us.

Tribe: Adventures in a changing world
Publisher: Michael Joseph
ISBN-10: 0718149181
ISBN-13: 978-0718149185

Bruce will be doing a talk about his book tonight in Stanford, Bristol; and a further talk at Waterstone’s High Street in Birmingham on the evening of Monday 24th September at 6.30pm; and finally a talk in Glasgow at the Mitchell Library at 6.30pm on Tuesday 25th September.

BBC TWO Tuesdays at 9pm

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Sandi ToksvigSandi Toksvig:
The daughter of a foreign correspondent, Sandi has been travelling all her life more info
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