Michael Palin, member of the legendary Monty Python comedy troupe, has been traveling around the world and filming it for television and film documentaries since 1980.

But Palin has taken himself and cameras into North Korea just now for the first time, celebrating his 75th birthday in that secretive Communist dictatorship earlier this year.

“To visit North Korea was an opportunity I couldn’t turn down,” Palin said. For somewhere that is so often in the forefront of the news, it remains a complete mystery to most of us. That we were able to travel across the country and get some sense of everyday life of was enormously exciting. The visit was an eye-opener for me, and I’m sure it will be the same for others. In all my travels around the world I have never had the same sense of fascination and revelation as on this journey to North Korea.”

Michael Palin in North Korea will air in two parts, starting Sept. 20, on Channel 5 in Britain.

Here’s how he entered the country, via train from China.