Sir Michael Palin among honorary Oxford degree recipients

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The comedy legend will be given the degree at an event in May

Comedy and television legend Sir Michael Palin is one of six people who will be awarded with honorary degrees from the University of Oxford.

Known for a career spanning almost 60 years, Sir Michael spent his student days at the university – along with fellow Monty Python member Terry Jones.

Other recipients include the musician Anoushka Shankar and World Trade Organization (WTO) director general Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

They will all be awarded their honorary degrees on Wednesday 19 June in a special ceremony.

Sir Michael Palin read modern history at Brasenose College, Oxford before becoming one of the founding members of Monty Python – seen by many as one of the most revered comedy troupes in modern cultural history.

The group were known for their intellectual and surreal style of comedy – including their dead parrot, ministry of silly walks and lumberjack song sketches.

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Sir Michael made his name with Monty Python, alongside Terry Jones, Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle and Terry Gilliam (L-R)

Following the success of Python, Sir Michael then went on to present a long list of travelogue series for the BBC – beginning with his recreation of the Jules Verne novel Around the World in 80 Days in 1989.

His newest series, Michael Palin in Nigeria, began on Tuesday night on Channel 5.

British-Indian-American musician Anoushka Shankar will also receive an honorary degree.

The sitarist, composer and producer began studying the sitar as a child under her father, Ravi Shankar.

 BBC/Tricia Yourkevich Anoushka Shankar BBC/Tricia Yourkevich

Sitarist Anoushka Shankar started performing at the age of 13

She has received multiple Grammy award nominations, and devotes much of her time to helping refugee related causes.

Meanwhile, Nigerian economist and the only African, or woman, to ever hold the position of director general of the WTO, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, will also be awarded.

Other recipients of the honorary degrees are British engineer and entrepreneur Warren East, computer scientist and artificial intelligence (AI) researcher Sir Demis Hassabis, and Canadian cardiologist and epidemiologist Prof Salim Yusuf.

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