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Channel 5 takes Michael Palin to Iraq with ITN Productions docuseries

Michael Palin: Into Iraq

ViacomCBS-owned Channel 5 in the UK has commissioned a documentary series that follows former Monty Python star Michael Palin as he visits Iraq for the first time.

Produced by ITN Productions, Michael Palin: Into Iraq sees writer and broadcaster Palin embark on a 1,000-mile odyssey, following the course of the great Tigris River from its source in Eastern Turkey to the Persian Gulf.

The 3×60’ docuseries is directed by Neil Ferguson and executive produced by Will Smith, while Jess Jacobs serves as production manager.

After achieving fame with comedy troupe Monty Python, Palin became known for BBC travelogue series such as Pole to Pole and Full Circle in the 1990s. More recently, he teamed up with C5 for a two-parter lifting the lid on the secretive nation of North Korea. The doc was subsequently picked up by National Geographic.

Palin said: “I’ve never visited Iraq and it’s not the easiest country to work in, which is why we chose it as the focus for this series. Scarred by conflict, Iraq is also the birthplace of civilisation. Our story is one of survival, of a nation pulled back from the brink. We wanted to show how a country so long associated with war and violence is dealing with a fragile peace.”


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