GEOGRAPHY lessons at a Sheffield school have been hailed by famous presenter Michael Palin as the inspiration behind his travels.
The comedian and actor went back to class at Birkdale School in Broomhill to pay tribute to his former headmaster John Hall, who was in charge at the school from 1963 to 1983 and died last year.
He unveiled a recently commissioned portrait of Mr Hall, also a geography teacher, before talking to a packed audience of former pupils and current parents.
“The school has changed beyond recognition and it is wonderful to see how successful it is today,” said Mr Palin, who was born in Broomhill in 1943.
“I feel honoured to be asked back to speak about John Hall.
“I remember his geography lessons well, all those dots on a map started me off on my travels.”
Mr Palin told the audience about the influence that Mr Hall had on him through geography fieldwork trips to the Rivelin Valley and Forge Dam.
He also shared anecdotes about his time at Birkdale and highlights of his travelling career across the globe.
Two other former headmasters, Michael Hepworth and Robert Court, were also present at the evening.
Head boy James Dacosta, aged 18, presented Mr Palin with a school tie, a bottle of wine and a book on Birkdale School’s history.
James said: “We spoke to him before his speech and were really delighted in how he interacted with us, how witty and eloquent he was.
“Everyone was so interested in his travels around the world and fascinated by the images he portrayed.”
The celebration of Mr Hall’s time at Birkdale also included a speech by Mr Hepworth about the enormous contribution Mr Hall made to the school’s development.