Michael Palin received "very touching" and sincere reactions from his former Monty Python co-stars after his wife's death.

The 80-year-old actor - who was part of the iconic comedy troupe alongside John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam, Graham Chapman and Terry Jones - has revealed while he and his surviving co-stars aren't in touch a lot, they did reach out after his beloved wife Helen died in May.

Asked if he still talks to John, Eric and Terry, he told the Radio Times magazine: "No, we don't speak to each other very often.

"There's no ex-Pythons WhatsApp group or anything.

"But we are in touch, and their reactions to Helen's death, from all of them, were very touching, very immediate and very sincere. I really appreciated that."

Despite his grief, Michael feels "very fortunate" to be working on projects he enjoys, particularly as he's able to "go out into the world" and embrace all life has to offer.

He added: "Well, I still love doing the things I love. I still find I'm able to get up and go out into the world.

"And there's still so much to do, so much to see, so many people to meet. I'm… very fortunate."

Michael - who had children Thomas, 54, William, 52, and Rachel, 48, with his partner of 57 years - revealed in a post on his official website that Helen has passed away, seven months after it emerged she had been moved into respite care.

Hailing Helen as the “bedrock” of his life, the presenter said: “My dearest wife Helen died peacefully in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

“She had been suffering with chronic pain for several years, which was compounded a few years ago by a diagnosis of kidney failure.

“We first met on a summer holiday on the Suffolk coast when we were both sixteen and we married in our early twenties.

“Two and a half weeks ago we celebrated our 57th wedding anniversary.

“Her death is an indescribable loss for myself, our three children and four grandchildren.

“Helen was the bedrock of my life. Her quietly wise judgment informed all my decisions and her humour and practical good sense was was at the heart of our life together.

“The family ask that their privacy be respected at this time.”