Sir Michael Palin’s upcoming UK book tour has been cancelled after he revealed he is due to undergo heart surgery.
The ex-Monty Python star was due to appear at venues around the UK from 16th October to 30th October promoting his forthcoming North Korea Journal (Hutchinson).
But Penguin Random House announced he would no longer be able to take part due to health reasons and ticket-holders would be refunded.
In a blog post entitled “The Machine that Goes ‘Ping!’”, beneath a still from “The Meaning of Life”, Palin told fans a health check five years ago had revealed a leaky mitral valve in his heart.
He wrote: “Until the beginning of this year it had not affected my general level of fitness. Recently, though, I have felt my heart having to work harder and have been advised it’s time to have the valve repaired.
“I shall be undergoing surgery in September and should be back to normal, or rather better than normal, within three months.”
Palin’s book, out in September, details the two weeks he spent in the rogue state, featuring chats with locals and encounters with the regime’s officials.
He said of the book last year: “Maps, guide books and internet access were all denied to me as I travelled in North Korea. The daily journal which I wrote up every evening was the only way I could record my personal impressions of this eccentric land. And I lived with the daily fear that I might lose that as well. Fortunately we left the country together, my journals and me. And they have quite a story to tell.”
A spokesman for PRH said: "Penguin Random House wishes Michael a speedy recovery and looks forward to publishing North Korea Journal on 19th September.’