Forget Skyfall; the real premiere of the week is tonight.
Effortlessly suave, with a charismatic English accent and a passport with enough stamps to rival Bond’s, Michael Palin is back on our screens tonight with his new series, Brazil (BBC1, 9pm).
I know ladies, I know. Move over Daniel Craig, the true travel dreamboat has arrived.
In the first episode of a four part series, Palin begins in Sao Luis, in the north eastern part of the gargantuan South American country, heading down the coast towards Recife and Salvador. The twinkly-eyed ex-Python demonstrates his profuse charm (and wicked sense of humour) as he attempts some capoeira, builds a rapport with his Bahian cooking instructor, and explores the rich history of Brazil. He will travel south, all the way to Sao Paulo and beyond.
Where will the series take us? Rio de Janeiro is guaranteed to feature, as are Amazonian tribes and the Iguazu falls. Henry Ford’s now-abandoned, modestly-named industrial town Fordlândia and the European Valley, along with its Oktoberfests and German traditions, may come as a surprise. That’s the appeal of Palin; alongside the endearing demeanour and side-splitting slapstick, comes a sequence of unexpected insights and engaging observations. He’s basically the perfect man.*
Brazil is certainly going to be on the global stage over the next few years; 2014 will see the nation host the FIFA World Cup for the second time, and the first summer Olympics ever to be held in South America is set to take Rio de Janeiro by storm.
It’s going to be one heck of a party.
Don’t forget to tune in to BBC1 tonight at 9pm to watch the dashing wise-one in all his glory.
*This article may be slightly biased due to the author’s infatuation with Mr Palin. Apologies.
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