Sir Michael Palin is set to explore Nigeria for the first time in his new travel show.
The 80-year-old ‘Monty Python’ star has embarked on a 1,300-mile journey for his new Channel 5 series, which currently has the working title ‘Michael Palin: Into Nigeria’.
He said in a statement about the upcoming series: “Nigeria has the biggest economy, and the biggest population in Africa. The potential of the country is enormous, but so are its problems.
“Visiting the country for the first time, I saw these problems at first hand, but also caught a whiff of the excitement and energy of the place.
“Sometimes inspiring, sometimes a perplexing challenge, my journey through this rich, raucous mix of a country hardly gave me time to draw breath.
“I came home exhausted but exhilarated, and, as in the best of journeys, feeling I know a lot more about the world.”
‘Into Nigeria’ is due to air later this year and will see Michael travel to Lagos and the northern region of the country, and is billed as a showcase of “the voices, opinions and experiences of Nigerians from all walks of life”.
Will Smith, head of factual at ITN Productions, said: “We’re delighted to be working with Michael again as he explores one of the most important yet least understood countries in the world.
“During a challenging journey down the spine on the country Michael goes beyond the stereotypes to reveal a land of extreme contrasts and beguiling beauty.
“As Nigeria’s influence grows on the world stage this is a timely exploration of ‘the giant of Africa’.”
Guy Davies, Channel 5’s factual commissioning editor for non-scripted UK original shows added it was a “thrill” to be working with Michael again, and promised it would be “more than an epic and beautiful journey”.
He added: “It’s a thrill that Michael’s new journey is again with Channel 5 after two masterful series with us.
“Nigeria is more than an epic and beautiful journey, it’s a look at the future and past in a global context.
“It’s also one of the most extraordinarily visual and heartfelt series you’ll ever see, and who better than Michael to listen and learn as he meets the people of a country whose significance and influence will rise over the coming decades.”