'The cracked and fissured ice-pack offers no comfortable reassurance - no glimmer of any reward to the traveller who has made his way to the top of the world. The Arctic Ocean, known to the Victorians as the Sea of Ancient Ice, stares balefully back as we descend towards it, reflecting nothing but the question: Why?' Michael Palin's adventure begins when he is enrolled in the Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society... Travelling by train, truck, raft, Ski-Doo, barge, balloon and bicycle, Michael Palin experiences every extreme the world has to offer. Braving the cold grip of the Arctic Circle, and the swirling snowstorms of Spitsbergen, Palin has to cope with friendly locals, occasional gunfire and his own unruly digestive system before he can finally stand in Scott's shoes at the South Pole, in the Land of the Midnight Sun.
Michael Palin established his reputation with Monty Python's Flying Circus and the Ripping Yarns. His work also includes several films with Monty Python, as well as The Missionary, A Private Function, an award-winning performance as the hapless Ken in A Fish Called Wanda and, more recently, American Friends and Fierce Creatures. His television credits include two films for the BBC's Great Railway Journeys, the plays East of Ipswich and Number 27, and Alan Bleasdale's GBH.
He has written books to accompany his very successful travel series, Around the world in 80 days, Pole to Pole, Full Circle, Hemingway Adventure, Sahara, Himalaya and New Europe. He is also the author of a number of children's stories, the play The Weekend and the novel Hemingway's Chair.