Tuesday 27 September 2016

Monty Python's Terry Jones has been diagnosed with dementia

Nicola Harley

Published 23/09/2016 | 11:18

Terry Jones has been diagnosed with dementia
Terry Jones has been diagnosed with dementia
From left, Eric Idle, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Michael Palin and Terry Jones from Monty Python
Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Graham Chapman, John Cleese and Michael Palin from Monty Python

The comedy genius behind Monty Python’s Terry Jones has been diagnosed with dementia.

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The news came as Bafta Cymru announced he had been given the special award for outstanding contribution to film and television.

A representative for the writer and director said: "Terry has been diagnosed with primary progressive aphasia, a variant of frontotemporal dementia.

"This illness affects his ability to communicate and he is no longer able to give interviews. Terry is proud and honoured to be recognised in this way and is looking forward to the celebrations."

From left, Eric Idle, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Michael Palin and Terry Jones from Monty Python
From left, Eric Idle, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Michael Palin and Terry Jones from Monty Python

Organisers are hoping he will still be able to attend the ceremony next Sunday night at St David's Hall in Cardiff.

He will be accompanied by a family representative but is not expected to speak at the event.

Known to many as one of the Pythons, he was born in Colwyn Bay and has gone on to write and direct drama, present documentaries, compose operas and write short stories.

Hannah Raybould, Director of BAFTA Cymru, said: “We are very much looking forward to celebrating the work of Terry Jones during the ceremony with a look back at his work from 1969 to the present day.”

Jones and the other Pythons got together in 1969 and wrote and performed Monty Python’s Flying Circus until 1974.

He co-directed Monty Python and the Holy Grail with Terry Gilliam, and was sole director on two further Monty Python movies, Life of Brian and Monty Python's The Meaning of Life, for which he received a BAFTA nomination for Original Song Written for a Film in 1984.

Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Graham Chapman, John Cleese and Michael Palin from Monty Python
Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Graham Chapman, John Cleese and Michael Palin from Monty Python

He directed Personal Services and in 1989 wrote and directed Erik The Viking.

Later Jones wrote, directed and played Toad in The Wind In The Willows and also wrote the screenplay for Jim Henson’s Labyrinth. 

He also co-wrote and directed Absolutely Anything  last year.

Jones has presented numerous TV documentaries and his first foray into the world of opera, Evil Machines, based on a collection of his short stories, premiered in Lisbon in 2008 and a crowd-funded publication of the book was later released.

He has recently completed his latest novel The Tyrant & the Squire which completes a trilogy.

The book is being launched through crowd-funding publishers Unbound,nwhich first launched his work five years ago, once enough pledges have been made.

The firm said: "Completing this trilogy has meant a great deal to Terry and we’d love to be able to present a finished copy to him in time for his 75th birthday next February."

The 74-year-old secretly married his second wife Anna Soderstrom in a ceremony in London.

He became a father again at the age of 69 to his daughter Siri.

He was previously married to his wife of 42 years, and mother to his two older children, Alison Telfer.

Telegraph.co.uk

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