Monday 5 December 2016

Dementia impact on Monty Python's Terry Jones 'painful to watch', says Palin

Published 24/09/2016 | 18:16

Jones, 74, directed Monty Python's Life of Brian and Monty Python's The Meaning of Life
Jones, 74, directed Monty Python's Life of Brian and Monty Python's The Meaning of Life

The impact of dementia on Monty Python star Terry Jones has been "painful to watch", his friend and fellow actor Michael Palin has said.

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Jones, 74, who directed Monty Python's Life of Brian and Monty Python's The Meaning of Life, and co-directed Monty Python and the Holy Grail with Terry Gilliam, is suffering from primary progressive aphasia, which affects his ability to communicate.

Palin and Jones were members of the famous comedy troupe, which also included John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle and Graham Chapman. Jones wrote and directed many of the group's best-loved works.

In a moving post on Facebook, Palin said the impact on Jones' ability to speak is "the cruellest thing that could befall someone to whom words, ideas, arguments, jokes and stories were once the stuff of life".

"Terry J has been my close friend and workmate for over 50 years. The progress of his dementia has been painful to watch," added Palin.

Palin said he had met up with Jones earlier this week and the Welsh-born actor had been smiling and laughing.

He wrote: "Not that Terry is out of circulation. He spends time with his family and only two days ago I met up with him for one of our regular meals at his local pub.

"Terry doesn't say very much but he smiles, laughs, recognises and responds, and I'm always pleased to see him. Long may that last."

The news of Jones' illness was announced on Tuesday as Bafta Cymru announced he has been given a special award for outstanding contribution to film and television.

His award was announced at the Bafta Cymru nominees party, as well as that of make-up artist Sian Grigg. The pair will be celebrated at the British Academy Cymru Awards on October 2.

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