Tragic Terry ‘barely knows who I am’ says Python star

Daily Express - - RICHARD & JUDY -

“I look in his eyes and I am not sure he recog­nises me. He walks along the Heath as Terry likes to get out­side. Terry is in his own world, is quite happy. I just miss him. It touches me.”

Jones is suf­fer­ing from fron­totem­po­ral dementia – a form of the dis­ease that af­fects be­hav­iour and lan­guage and of­ten presents it­self as be­ing in­sen­si­tive or rude.

The pair formed part of the BBC com­edy troupe star­ring John Cleese, 78, Eric Idle, 75, Michael Palin, 75, and Gra­ham Chap­man, who died at the age of 48 in 1989.

They per­formed from 1969 un­til 1983 and made a se­ries of come­backs, in­clud­ing the 2014 show at the O2 and a Not The Mes­siah show at Lon­don’s Royal Al­bert Hall in 2009.

Gil­liam added: “We ar­gued our po­si­tions and fought for what we be­lieved in. Terry has moved into an­other world. I miss ar­gu­ing with Terry. He was al­ways passionate about things.

“It is hard when you have spent your life ar­gu­ing, fighting and be­ing in­spired by some­one.

“When that char­ac­ter is not there any more that is the sad thing. I hope he is con­tent where he is that’s Terry Jones with Michael Palin at the 2016 Bafta awards all.” In an in­ter­view in April last year, Jones’s daugh­ter Sally in­sisted that the ac­tor could still recog­nise friends and fam­ily. She said: “Friends of­ten ask, ‘Will he recog­nise me?’

“I tell them, ‘Of course he will’. It is his speech that has gone. In fact, he loves see­ing friends. His only prob­lem is that he no longer has the abil­ity to tell them how pleased he is to see them.”

Jones re­vealed that he was bat­tling dementia in Septem­ber 2016 af­ter Bafta Cymru an­nounced that he had been given a spe­cial award for out­stand­ing con­tri­bu­tion to film and tele­vi­sion.

He later at­tended the event with Palin and his son Mark, who spoke on his be­half.

There is no known cure for dementia, which causes nerve cell death and tis­sue loss through­out the brain. The brain shrinks dra­mat­i­cally, af­fect­ing nearly all its func­tions.

In the UK, about 850,000 peo­ple suf­fer from dementia.

Pic­tures: REX, GETTY

The Pythons in the 1970s, with Terry Jones, left, and close friend Terry Gil­liam, top right

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