Nat Geo goes to North Korea with Michael Palin

National Geographic has acquired ITN Productions’ one-off documentary North Korea From The Inside With Michael Palin (pictured). 

The US cable channel has picked up the hit Channel 5 special featuring the Monty Python and Vanity Fair star, who travels 1,300 miles across North Korea to interact with locals.

Palin’s North Korean sojourn also coincided with the historic meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

The program – which came after two years of intense planning, research and high-level negotiations around access for Palin – will air on Nat Geo on September 30 at 9pm.

Executive producer is Will Smith, head of factual at ITN Productions, while Neil Ferguson of Fomo Films is producer-director. ITN’s Emma Wood is production manager and Elaine Morris is head of production.

Palin said: “To visit North Korea was an opportunity I couldn’t turn down. For somewhere that is so often in the forefront of the news, it remains a complete mystery to most of us. That we were able to travel across the country and get some sense of everyday life was enormously exciting.

“The visit was an eye-opener for me, and I’m sure it will be the same for others. In all my travels around the world I have never had the same sense of fascination and revelation as on this journey to North Korea.”

Will Smith, head of factual at ITN Productions, added: “We are thrilled to have worked with Michael Palin on this project which has taken two years to come to fruition. Given the constantly shifting political landscape between North Korea and the rest of the world this insight into life for ordinary people in what is often dubbed a ‘hermit kingdom’ could not be more relevant.”


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