Fans meet Michael Palin at book shop

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BOOK lovers had the chance to meet Michael Palin earlier this month.

Close to 130 fans of the writer, globetrotter, comedian and actor attended a book signing at Chichester Waterstone’s, on West Street, on Wednesday, November 18, for his latest book, Travelling to Work: Diaries 1988 – 1998.

Scarlett Ayers, who has been a fan of Palin for 40 years, was first in the queue.

The Chichester resident, who had seen Palin on stage recently in Southampton as part of his Thirty Years Tour, was delighted when she discovered that he would be signing books 20 minutes from her home.

After having her copy of his book signed, she said: “I’m in pure shock.”

Palin’s latest non-fiction work, published on September 24, is the third in a series of edited diary entries.

The new volume starts in September 1988, when he embarked on his ‘Around the World in 80 Days’ travel programme for the BBC.

The store’s lead bookseller Ollie Browning, who lives in Westbourne, said that the event was the biggest signing it had hosted for a while, adding that it was great 
such a big author had come to the store.

At the end of the event, Palin, who was to sign books in Lewes at 3:30pm, said that it had been a ‘very good signing indeed’.

He has kept a diary for 46 years, and said that he tries to spend no longer than 30 minutes writing entries each day, otherwise you start living for it.

Only 20 per cent of what he writes in his diary is included in the final volumes, but he still tries to make them honest and personal.

Asked if when reading back his diaries he remembers events differently, he said that part of the beauty of a daily diary is that it ‘takes you by surprise’.