File photo: Sir Michael Palin was extremely ill after eating old camel liver in Algeria. Picture: Reuters
File photo: Sir Michael Palin was extremely ill after eating old camel liver in Algeria. Picture: Reuters

When in Algeria, immerse yourself in the culture but stay away from camel liver

By Bang Showbiz Time of article published Sep 30, 2020

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Sir Michael Palin was "extremely ill" after eating "old" camel liver in Algeria.

The 77-year-old star believes it is important to "accept hospitality" when he's travelling the world for his shows, but was left regretting his decision while shooting his 2002 series 'Michael Palin: Sahara'.

He explained on 'The One Show': "I believe that you have to eat the food you're offered, that it's a way of creating a bridge with people - accepting hospitality. But, when I had some camel liver in Algeria... it was a bit old.

"It was old before I ate it - two days old, or two years it smelt like - I was extremely ill all day and we had to go out."

Michael admitted his illness led to his "most arduous" days of filming because he kept having to stop his interviews to be sick.

He added: "I had to interview a gorilla leader in the middle of the desert.

"I would ask him a couple of questions, go outside, throw up, ask him some more questions... that was sort of the most arduous days filming ever, but you never had a particularly easy day."

The former Monty Python star has filmed numerous travel series since 1980 but he admitted it was an unexpected career move for him.

He said: "Out of the blue, this phone call comes through and says, "will you go round the world in 80 days?" They were terribly keen, so I signed up."

But he joked he was only offered the job as a last resort.

He quipped: "Only later did I find out that I was the fifth person to be asked to do it. Noel Edmonds turned it down."

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