Search

Tom Palin: Finsbury Park campaigner and son of Michael Palin talks Wireless Festival and Monty Python

PUBLISHED: 09:37 12 October 2017

Tom Palin and Jeremy Llewellyn-Jones of the Friends of Finsbury Park are against Haringey Council allowing the Wireless Festival to go ahead

Tom Palin and Jeremy Llewellyn-Jones of the Friends of Finsbury Park are against Haringey Council allowing the Wireless Festival to go ahead

Archant

The man leading a campaign to protect Finsbury Park from a growing number of music festivals and events says he got his passion from his father – Michael Palin.

Tom Palin and Jeremy Llewellyn-Jones of the Friends of Finsbury Park are against Haringey Council allowing the Wireless Festival to go ahead Tom Palin and Jeremy Llewellyn-Jones of the Friends of Finsbury Park are against Haringey Council allowing the Wireless Festival to go ahead

Tom Palin became the Friends of Finsbury Park’s chair in 2015 as a way to protest the overuse of the space. Next month he will carry his fight to the Court of Appeal.

Should the challenge prove successful, the group will have changed the nature of private events in parks across London for good, with restrictions placed on their length and frequency.

But Tom is no stranger to the limelight. As the child of the world-famous Monty Python star he appeared in Life of Brian alongside Beatle George Harrison, who funded the film.

“Growing up I often had my father and a few of the others around chuckling or laughing hysterically, amusing themselves,” Tom recalled. “Occasionally we would go onto the film sets and in Life of Brian I’m a little Arab boy with my teeth blacked out.”

A rainbow appears over the Main Stage at the Wireless Festival in Finsbury Park, north London. A rainbow appears over the Main Stage at the Wireless Festival in Finsbury Park, north London.

To Tom it was just growing up, but he admits it was a childhood full of laughter.

“Python was always very silly,” he said. “As a child watching someone talking about a dead parrot and laughing at each other, it’s very funny. It’s never nasty, it’s always nice humour.

“To me it was all a part of growing up, to other people it’s very interesting. I never had a problem through life with it – I’m very lucky it’s Michael Palin and not Sarah Palin. He’s a great father – what you see is what you get. He was very supportive, and is very supportive of this work that I do. He’s passionate and says you have to get involved with things you care about.”

His father won’t be at the Court of Appeal on November 2 because he’s in Myanmar raising money for the thousands of people fleeing violence in Rakhine, but Tom is confident of delivering good news to him.

“We are not saying we want to ban the events,” he added. “It’s about the frequency of them in local authority parks across London. Councils have no money and are trying to finance parks with commercial use. But our argument is it’s not sustainable.

“I became chair because I felt passionate about the overuse of parks. I used to be a music producer so I’m not against these events and it’s not about being a nimby – it’s a fundamental problem. We say: ‘If we don’t do this there will be more events’.”

Related articles

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hackney Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hackney Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hackney Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Hackney Stories

15:08

Tottenham are preparing to face “the best team in Europe” on Saturday, but their manager is going to the Etihad to win

14:00

Clapton boss Jonny Fowell wants his side to get on a winning run to keep their chances of the Essex Senior League title alive.

13:30

Lisa Wilson spoke of her late son Tom’s decision to donate his organs this week as health secretary Jeremy Hunt launched a new opt-out plan in England, writes Lee Power.

13:00

Leyton Orient look to avoid an FA Trophy giant-killing when they visit Haringey Borough in the first round on Saturday.

11:35

For this week’s Friday Q&A we have an old school Arsenal fan and passionate Trade Unionist Frank Radcliffe. There can’t be many Gooners still attending who went to the Winterslag away game but loyal Frank was one of them. Read on for his strong views on the club – as well as being held up at gunpoint as an innocent bystander by German police after Sergio Tacchini gear disappeared on a pre-season trip to Bochum in the 1980s...

15:33

Sadiq Khan was in Mare Street this morning to launch his new campaign tackling rough sleeping at St Mungo’s hostel.

10:36

England failed to cash in on centuries from Middlesex’s Dawid Malan and Jonny Bairstow as familiar problems persisted on a fluctuating second day in the third Ashes Test.

09:35

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has given his weekly press conference at London Colney. Read on for his views on injuries ahead of Newcastle United, the Arsenal Foundation, the latest on Jack WIlshere, Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez’s contract situation and much more.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now


Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists