Michael Palin’s superb documentary on North Korea

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Channel 5 have surpassed themselves in presenting Michael Palin’s two-episode programme on his travels in North Korea.

It is a surprise to find the great Python on Channel Five, but the show reminds one of his enormous skill at presenting charming and informed pictures of foreign places.

Palin makes clear, up front, that he and his crew went where they were allowed and an “entourage” of five or six North Korean government officials accompanied them, supervising their filming and every word said on camera.

Nonetheless Michael Palin manages to show a fascinating and colourful profile of the world’s most secretive state, establishing a rapport with two of his young minders, wheedling out a fascinating insight into the “Hermit Kingdom”, albeit without warts.

You can see the documentary on “My5”, which is the catch-up service of Channel 5 and other TV stations.

* Paul Walter is a Liberal Democrat activist. He is currently taking a break from his role as one of the Liberal Democrat Voice team. He blogs at Liberal Burblings.

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  • I saw part of the programme. Very interesting. I also listened to the President of the United States saying that he is in love with the leader of North Korea. It seems he writes very nice letters – the leader of North Korea that is. But since the President of the United States has now claimed that his address to the United Nations was designed to get a laugh, perhaps his romantic relationship is also designed to get a laugh?

  • John Marriott 1st Oct '18 - 10:06am

    I watched most of the programme. What a surreal place North Korea appears to be – fully functioning empty airports and hotels, multi lane suburban highways built in a year – and those standard ‘short back and sides’ male haircuts and iniform dark suits. It certainly takes indoctrination to another level. I’m just waiting for all those Trump hotels and golf courses to start springing up.

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