Michael Palin will undergo heart surgery in September. The Monty Python star said a health check several years ago revealed a heart problem, but it had not affected his fitness until recently.
Telling fans about the upcoming operation on his website, Palin, 76, said he expects to recover from the procedure by the end of the year. Clearly still in good humor, his post was accompanied by a picture from “Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life,” with John Cleese and Terry Jones in scrubs in an operating theater. Referencing a scene in the film, the post carried the title “The Machine that Goes ‘Ping!'”
“Five years ago, a routine health check revealed a leaky mitral valve in my heart,” Palin wrote. “Until the beginning of this year it had not affected my general level of fitness. Recently, though, I have felt my heart having to work harder and have been advised it’s time to have the valve repaired. I shall be undergoing surgery in September and should be back to normal, or rather better than normal, within three months.”
Celebrations are about start for the 50th anniversary of the Pythons. Outside of the comedy troupe, Palin has remained a fixture on screens for decades, with a series of travel programs, as well as other presenting and acting roles including in “The Death of Stalin” and ITV’s recent adaptation of “Vanity Fair.”
He recently ventured to North Korea for a Channel 5 travel show, which was on National Geographic in the U.S. and around the world. With surgery looming, he has cancelled a book tour that had been planned to promote the accompanying travel journal.