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British comedian Michael Palin knighted

By AAP Newswire

Michael Palin managed to suppress a joke when collecting the "unbelievable" honour of a knighthood from the Duke of Cambridge for his post-Monty Python career.

The writer and broadcaster was dubbed a knight by William for services to travel, culture and geography, making him the first star of the sketch show to receive the honour.

The pair discussed travel, with Sir Michael resisting the temptation to crack a joke during the investiture at Buckingham Palace on Wednesday.

"He talked about where I was going next, any parts of the world I really wanted to go that I hadn't already - to which I normally say Middlesbrough," the broadcaster said.

Instead he went for the far-flung location of Kazakhstan.

So far, Sir Michael is the only Python to be knighted - but he said John Cleese has turned down the chance.

"I think I'll probably be the only one. John's turned it down. I think so, yes. He's rather mysterious about that," Sir Michael said.

It has not been confirmed that Cleese opted against becoming a knight, but he did refuse a CBE in 1996 and said it was a greater honour to have a lemur named after him than it would be receiving a knighthood or peerage.

Sir Michael acknowledged his honour was for his later work and praised others for recognising talents he was never aware of.

He praised the "rather wonderful" experience of receiving an honour, which he said would have been "unbelievable" to his younger self 50 years ago when the Pythons formed.

"It's very, very nice to be recognised," he added.