Terry Jones diagnosed with rare form of dementia


Whatever you do today, take a moment and think a good thought for Terry Jones. The former ‘original Python’ member has been diagnosed with a rare primary progressive aphasia, which affects his ability to communicate.

According to the National Aphasia Association primary progressive aphasia is a neurological syndrome in which language capabilities become slowly and progressively impaired. Sadly, says the association’s website, the disease commonly begins as a subtle disorder of language, progressing to a nearly total inability to speak, in its most severe stage. As a result, Jones “is no longer able to give interviews”, a spokesman for Jones said.

Fortunately, several of us had the great good fortune of interviewing Jones at his home for a number of PBS specials, Funny Ladies of British Comedy, Funny Blokes of British Comedy and Fawlty Towers Revisited. During one interview, Jones brilliantly recounted, in spectacular detail, the Pythons stay at the Gleneagles Hotel in Torquay, which later became the bases for fellow Python, John Cleese’s Fawlty Towers series.

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Jones, who directed Monty Python’s Life of Brian and The Meaning of Life and co-directed Monty Python and the Holy Grail, will be honored on 2 October by Bafta Cymru with an outstanding contribution award for his groundbreaking comedic efforts from 1969 to present day.

Here, in one of our earliest PBS interviews with Jones back in 1999, he talked about his writing style and how he partnered with fellow Python, Michael Palin, on some of Monty Python’s greatest sketches.

Good thoughts coming your way, Mr. Jones. Thank you for years to laughs and for laughs yet to come.