Sweet taste of childhood for Sheffield legend Michael Palin

Michael Palin.
Michael Palin.
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The sweet taste of a glass of sherry takes TV star Michael Palin straight back to his boyhood in Sheffield, the globe-trotting comedian has revealed.

Sherry was the only alcoholic drink his mother and father touched - and they kept it in a cut-glass decanter at home in Broomhill.

His father Edward was an engineer for a steel firm, and had a debilitating stammer.

“He was quite, sort of, enclosed, and quite difficult sometimes,” Palin has revealed. “He had a quick temper.

“I think all of those things came from the frustration at not being able to speak fluently.

“I think growing up I sensed that. And it may not be what encouraged me to travel or to do lots of the things I’ve done, but it certainly encouraged me to try to be agreeable and sociable and friendly.”

In the school holidays, after Birkdale Prep and away from boarding school in Shrewsbury, Palin fondly remembers his mother Mary’s cooking - liver and onions, and treacle tart, made with ‘a lot of oats’.

Palin, aged 71, now lives in London with wife Helen, a bereavement counsellor. He has a daughter, two sons, and two grandsons aged eight and five.