Michael Palin opens up about wife's devastating ill-health

The Michael Palin In Iraq presenter's wife Helen is unwell

Michael Palin, 79, has been married to his wife Helen for 56 years, and in a recent interview, the presenter shared that his beloved partner is unwell.

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The Michael Palin In Iraq presenter shared that Helen has been suffering with pain that is not responding to medication, and has moved into respite care from the home they've shared for 50 years.

Michael Palin and his wife Helen have been married since 1966

"I don't think you can cure it, but they will help her manage it," Michael told The Telegraph Magazine. "It's such a bore. She was so active and still is mentally. But the body is declining. We live life with our fingers crossed."

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Michael and Helen got married in 1966 after a six-year relationship. They share three children, Tom, Will and Rachel, who have gone onto have children of their own in recent years.

Michael has been through health struggles of his own in his seventies. At 73 he underwent a heart operation to fix a valve, writing about the health scare on his blog, explaining: "My heart scare reminded me that my body isn't indestructible and if I want to keep it that way I must know when to stop working as well as when to start again."

Michael Palin is still working hard at 79

"Over the last year, I discovered a rather enjoyable equilibrium, a balance between work and relaxation that for the first time in my life favoured the latter," he continued.

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That said, he has recently returned from Iraq, and before he even set off on the trip, he said he felt dizzy at the airport, fretting: "I'm dizzy in an airport and we haven't even got going yet."

Michael Palin's wife Helen has moved into respite care

The star's latest TV show, Michael Palin in Iraq, is available on Channel 5.

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