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Michael Palin - HimalayaAt four o'clock on the morning of 25 September 2003, in a cheerless hotel foyer in Delhi, Roger, cameraman Nigel Meakin and I celebrated, as best we could, an anniversary of sorts. It was 15 years ago to the day that, at the Reform Club in London, Roger had called 'Action!' and set Around the World in Eighty Days in motion. One thing we all agreed on that morning in Delhi is that not for one minute had any of us imagined we'd still be travelling together five series and a decade and a half later.

I owe Roger a great debt of thanks for being patient and tolerant, careful, critical and above all wonderful company. As series producer, he took the lion's share of responsibility for Himalaya and, as co-director, led Saga Platoon through Pakistan, India and Bangladesh.

John-Paul Davidson, who directed us in Nepal, Tibet and Yunnan in China, Nagaland, Assam and Bhutan, is a veteran of the Himalaya and his unflagging mix of energy, enthusiasm and invention was only matched by his empathy with the people, his love of the countries and his ability to produce fresh-brewed ground coffee at any altitude. Nigel Meakin made a mockery of the passing years by producing superb work in often awful and uncomfortable circumstances. Peter Meakin, his son and heir, is not only a credit to the family filming business, but also a dab hand with the sound recorder who got us out of a hole or two when altitude sickness struck. For a few weeks we were sadly deprived of John Pritchard's affable company, as it was he who the altitude struck. His replacement, Chris Joyce, came out from England at very short notice, and ably picked up the baton (or whatever it is that sound recordists hold).
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  • Series: Himalaya
  • Chapter: Acknowledgements
  • Country/sea: England
  • Place: London
  • Book page no: 286

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