Michael Palin 'still hears late wife Helen's voice'; Monty Python star speaks on Good Morning Britain

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Sir Michael Palin has said he still hears the voice of his late wife, telling him to “get on with it”.

The 81-year-old Monty Python star announced in May 2023 that his wife of 57 years, Helen Gibbins, had died after suffering from chronic pain and kidney failure. The couple met on a beach in Suffolk when he was still a teenager.

He told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: “It’s like you’re a unit, and suddenly you are not a unit any longer, and it’s bit like losing a bit of a limb, you’re not quite sure where you are. I do hear her and she had a great sense of humour. Sometimes I will have done something and I’ll get back and tell her about it.

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“Although she’s not there, I know her reply and it makes me smile. I find myself idiotically in the sitting room on my own going ‘Oh yes!’ So that’s good. She was great and we have good memories.

“So much of your own life is invested in that one person so there is a huge slice of my life which I now can’t really access in the same way. But we’ve got family, children, grandchildren, they sort of take over, but it’s not the same, not quite the same. It’s been just over a year but I get on with work, that’s the thing. And I hear Helen saying ‘Get on with it, go on, stop messing about’.”

Sir Michael met his future wife while holidaying in the seaside town of Southwold, Suffolk, and later fictionalised the encounter in a 1987 TV drama for the BBC titled East Of Ipswich.

The couple had three children and four grandchildren, and celebrated their wedding anniversary just two-and-a-half weeks before her death.

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