Monty Python's Michael Palin says immigration has done the country ‘an enormous amount of good’

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NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 24:  Michael Palin and John Cleese attend the Special Screening Narrative: "Monty Python And The Holy Grail" during 2015 Tribeca Film Festival at Beacon Theatre on April 24, 2015 in New York City.  (Photo by Mireya Acierto/FilmMagic)
Michael Palin and John Cleese attend the Special Screening Narrative: "Monty Python And The Holy Grail" during 2015 Tribeca Film Festival at Beacon Theatre in New York City. (Photo by Mireya Acierto/FilmMagic)

Monty Python star Michael Palin has said immigration has done the UK “an enormous amount of good”.

Palin’s comments come after his long time friend and collaborator John Cleese was accused of racism after saying London is ‘not really an English city any more’.

Palin, 76, who was knighted in the last New Year’s Honours List, told I-News: “It saddens me that people should be mistrustful of foreigners to such an extent that they would rather not mix with them. That worries me a great deal.

Read more: John Cleese accuses London of not being 'an English city any more'

“Immigration in this country has done an enormous amount of good. Whenever I have NHS hospital treatment, so many of the doctors and nurses are from different nations of the world.”

He also urged people to be welcoming to foreign people and not to “close your mind”. The Monty Python star said: “We are very blessed to be able to have so many foreigners here and to make them welcome. They do work from which we’ve all benefited.

“The idea that these people are somehow going to ruin our way of life seems to be completely wrong and misbegotten. Seeing the world from other people’s point of view is very important. Don’t close your mind.”

After finding fame with Monty Python, Palin become known for travel shows such as Around the World in 80 Days with Michael Paling. The star insists his experiences made him “feel the world is a safer place”.

Read more: Michael Palin to celebrate knighthood with glass of Horlicks and then go to bed

He said: “I’ve actually been very reassured by travelling.

“It has made me feel the world is safer than you think it is if you just read the news.

“Most people want to bring up their children, build their houses and live peacefully with their neighbours. They don’t want to kill anybody. Travelling is a very good way of confirming that the world is not a beastly place at all, but a place full of opportunity and great people.”

Monty Python John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Michael Palin, Terry Jones, Eric Idle, Graham Chapman, Los Angeles, May 16th, 1975. (Photo by Ben Martin/Getty Images)
Monty Python John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Michael Palin, Terry Jones, Eric Idle, Graham Chapman, Los Angeles, May 16th, 1975. (Photo by Ben Martin/Getty Images)

Talking of the political dilemma of the age, Palin thinks we should all see Brexit from a Python perspective: “You can still look at the world from a Python point of view because it’s an extraordinarily absurd place. People are still doing very silly things and making ridiculous spectacles of themselves.

“The only way you can see what’s going on in the Brexit mess is through the eyes of Python. Just look at all the name-calling. It’s extremely Pythonic.”

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