by Hans ten Cate
Tuesday, 13 October 1998

Michael Palin has switched primary publishers for his best-selling travel books. He dropped BBC Worldwide, the British Broadcasting Corporation's publishing arm, for Weidenfeld & Nicholson, a branch of Anthony Cheetham's Orion Books. This, according to Britain's newspaper The Express.

Michael was reportedly unhappy with the BBC's failure to supply eager readers with titles from his backlist such as Around the World in 80 Days and Pole to Pole. Python/Palin fans worldwide can breathe a sigh of relief: Michael is still "the nice one," he cares about his fans!

Defections like this typically do not go unnoticed in the publishing world. Whenever major authors and celebrities switch publishers, it affects the bottom line and BBC must have felt this one in the pocket books. Michael has reportedly made more than £1 million from the book spin-offs of his compelling travelogues.

The Economist even noted Michael Palin's defection from BBC Worldwide, as well as those by other television celebrities such as Antonio Carluccio, Sophie Grigson, and Ken Hom.