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Emigration from Surbiton to Hounslow is a sketch that appears in "Mr and Mrs Brian Norris' Ford Popular," the twenty-eighth episode of Monty Python's Flying Circus.


A narrator (Eric Idle) introduces Mr and Mrs Brian Norris (Michael Palin and Graham Chapman) from Parsons Green. Mr Norris, who had written a book (A Short History of Motor Traffic Between Purley and Esher) wants to prove that the inhabitants of Hounslow could have been descendants of the people of Surbiton.

Mr Norris' theory is fuelled by the similarity of the houses, clothing and speech between the people in Hounslow and Surbiton. The couple set off to drive 15 miles to Surbiton, dining at Tooting. Mr Norris spots the Kingston by-pass and is confused whether the descendants of Surbiton made their way up that way or up the A308. They are puzzled as to how they will cross the Thames and eventually decide to take the 3.47 train to Hounslow Central, where Mr Norris has a picture taken standing at the train station with a flag.

A radical discovery occurs, Mr Norris realises it was the residents of Hounslow who had made the trek south to Surbiton. The couple return to Parsons Green content with their expedition findings.

The Nude Organist (Terry Jones) plays a note, cutting to the BBC continuity announcer (John Cleese), and the "It's" man (Palin).

Behind the scenes[]

The sketch is a parody of expeditions by famed Swedish explorer Thor Hyerdahl, leader of the Kon-tiki expedition, which was an attempt in 1947 to show that Polynesia could have been settled by people who sailed across the Pacific from South America. The trip became world famous through news reports, books and an Oscar-winning documentary film. The sketch was likely inspired by Hyerdahl's then-recent Ra expeditions, which were also widely publicised.