No, Sir Michael Palin wasn’t rescued from a fire by an 86-year-old neighbour
Comic article for the Idler turns into fake news
04 May, 2020
Sir Michael Palin
MONTY Python star Sir Michael Palin unwittingly exposed the quick and easy world of modern journalism when a fictitious anecdote written for a comedy column was written up as fact by at least four national newspapers.
“There’s a story circulating in many of the UK papers about my being rescued from my blazing kitchen by an 86-year old neighbour,” he said. “I hate to endorse anything said by the President of the United states, but this is fake news.”
Sir Michael, who lives in Gospel Oak and is a patron at Carlton Primary School, said: “It was wrongly taken as fact from a regular comic column which I write for the Idler magazine. If you’re worried about my state of health and damage to my kitchen, quite apart from the incredible bravery of my 86-year old neighbour, then I urge you to read the article in its entirety and if you’ve a shred of a sense of humour you will realise that none of this actually happened.”
He added: “My kitchen wasn’t damaged, but the reputation of some of our news outlets may have a bit of egg on it.”
The story ‘Monty Python’s Frying Circus’ appeared prominently on page 3 of the Daily Mirror and was also used by the Daily Express. The followed the story up online, attributing it to the Press Association, but has since removed their article.