Michael Palin honours Python pal with Leicestershire County Council green plaque
Comedian, writer and explorer Michael Palin has been in Leicestershire today to honour fellow comedy genius Graham Chapman.
Chapman is the latest recipient of a green plaque award given by Leicestershire County Council and Palin accepted an invitation to visit Melton Mowbray for the unveiling in memory of his former Monty Python sparring partner.
Michael Palin said: "I think it’s very important to remember the places we were born and brought up. The earliest influences are the ones that last longest. All the Pythons were provincials, and I, for one, am proud of those roots”
The green plaque has been installed at the Chapman’s former family home in Burton Road where his father was a police inspector working in and around the county town back in the 1950s. Chapman also attended the town’s Grammar school.
The event was hosted by county council leader Nick Rushton, who was joined at the ceremony by Dr John Chapman, brother of the late comedian who died in 1989 aged 48, and Python fan Richard Sargeant, who made the nomination using the name ‘Richard Norwegian Blue’ in a reference to the famous ‘dead parrot’ sketch.
Palin’s appearance in the town also provided a high-profile launch today of the second round of Green Plaque awards. The first round proved to be a huge success with top-quality nominations receiving more than 4,000 votes from the general public.
Nick Rushton said: “We're delighted that Michael Palin accepted the invitation to attend the plaque unveiling and help mark our tribute to Graham Chapman.
"We had a fantastic response to the first round of Green Plaque awards and I want to encourage as many people as possible to become involved in the next round.”
Dr Chapman said: "I was delighted to be in Melton Mowbray and our old family home again after more than half a century. We moved to what was then a police house when our father was promoted to inspector and Graham actually lived there longer than I did. It was also a pleasure to meet Michael Palin again."
Once the nominations have been received for the second round of the scheme – the closing date is Friday, January 23 2015 – a dozen of the county’s most famous people and buildings will be shortlisted by a panel of judges, including honorary alderman in the county. People will then be asked to vote for their favourite six by the end of March 2015.
You can nominate online at www.leics.gov.uk/greenplaques or pick up and drop off a form at any local library. You can also send your nomination to Green Plaques, Communities and Wellbeing, Room 500, Leicestershire County Council, County Hall, Glenfield, LE3 8RA.
Image: Leicestershire County Council leader Nick Rushton with actor Michael Palin