After a live performance at the Hollywood Bowl, The Pythons made their last performance together in 1983 in the hugely successful Monty Python’s Meaning of Life. Writing and acting in films and television then took over much of Michael’s life, culminating in the smash hit A Fish Called Wanda (for which he won a BAFTA for Best Supporting Actor), and the first of his seven celebrated television journeys for the BBC. He co-produced, wrote and played the lead in The Missionary opposite Maggie Smith, who also appeared with him in A Private Function, written by Alan Bennett.
Such was his fame in the US, he was enticed into once again hosting the enormously popular show Saturday Night Live, in one edition of which his mother makes a highly successful surprise guest appearance. He filmed several journeys for television and became chairman of the pressure group, Transport 2000. His family remains a constant as his and Helen’s children enter their teens.