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Monty Python star Michael Palin to receive top British TV award

Monty Python's Flying Circus actors (L-R) Carol Cleveland, former colleague Barry Cryer, actor Terry Jones and Michael Palin pose outside th
Monty Python's Flying Circus actors (L-R) Carol Cleveland, former colleague Barry Cryer, actor Terry Jones and Michael Palin pose outside th

LONDON (Reuters) - Film and television star Michael Palin, who made his name as a founder of comedy group Monty Python, is to receive one of the British entertainment industry's highest accolades.

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) said on Friday that Palin, who turns 70 this month, would be presented with an Academy Fellowship at the organization's annual TV awards ceremony on May 12.

BAFTA Chairman John Willis said the award recognized the contribution Palin had made to the industry over five decades.

"(His) amiable onscreen manner belies the seriousness of his craft," Willis said in a statement.

Palin started out writing television series and wrote and starred in some of Monty Python's best-known sketches including "Dead Parrot" and "The Lumberjack Song".

He won a BAFTA best supporting actor award for the 1988 comedy film "A Fish Called Wanda".

But from the late 1980s he turned his attention to travel documentaries, appearing in "Around the World in 80 Days", "Pole to Pole", and, most recently, "Brazil with Michael Palin".

Palin said it was a "very high honor" for anyone working in television to be awarded a BAFTA Fellowship.

"I'm well aware that any success I've had is down to team work. I've been blessed throughout my career with the inspiration and support of others," he said.

(Reporting by Belinda Goldsmith; Editing by Louise Ireland)

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