Living Channel: Saturdays from 26 January

Channel Premiere: Sahara

The Living Channel – Saturdays from 26 January, 9.00pm

Michael Palin’s epic voyages have seen him circumnavigate the globe, travel from the North to the South Pole and circle the countries of the Pacific Ocean. But perhaps the greatest challenge facing an intrepid explorer is crossing the vast and merciless Sahara Desert. There is no easy way to do it. This is Michael Palin, engaging explorer-adventurer, at his very best. A closer look at the Sahara reveals not the emptiness of endless sand dunes, but a huge and diverse range of cultures and landscapes and a long history of civilisation, trade, commerce and conquest stretching from the ancient Egyptians to the oil-rich Islamic republics of the present day. The desert is rarely empty for long. Camel caravans and car rallies cross it, there are smugglers and refugee camps and secret conflicts, and towns and villages alive with the different character of countries we know little about.

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