Throwback Thursday: Missionary Man

Seeing Michael Palin reminisce about his globe-trotting adventures on Travels Of A Lifetime alongside iPlayer repeats of the four seminal travel documentaries he made for the BBC, I'm reminded that he was the first celebrity I ever interviewed. And what a gent he was - charming, erudite, funny and self-effacing - as we chatted about the comedy film The Missionary, which he wrote and starred in in 1982. I was a 20-year-old junior reporter on a local weekly Leeds paper called the Skyrack Express, with a lot more hair than I have now, plus acne by late adolescence and gappy teeth by fear of the dentist. I was nervous but Palin soon put me at ease and I'd like to think that when I met him again at the premiere for A Private Function a couple of years later his 'Good to see you again' meant I'd made an impression on him with my skillful questions!

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