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Michael Palin: Terry Jones dementia is 'painful' to see

MICHAEL Palin has found Terry Jones' decline "painful to watch".

It was revealed on Friday (23.09.16) that the 'Monty Python' star has been suffering from a form of dementia known as Primary Progressive Aphasia, which is affecting his ability to communicate, and his pal and comedy co-star thinks his condition is very "cruel".

He wrote on Facebook: "Terry J has been my close friend and workmate for over fifty years. The progress of his dementia has been painful to watch and the news announced yesterday that he has a type of aphasia which is gradually depriving him of the ability to speak is about the cruellest thing that could befall someone to whom words, ideas, arguments, jokes and stories were once the stuff of life."

However, the 73-year-old star still meets with his pal regularly and though the 74-year-old comedy legend "doesn't say very much", they are still able to connect with one another.

He added alongside a picture of himself and Terry: "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. Howard Johnson, an American friend of Python, was in town and took this picture.

"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."

Terry's spokesman revealed his medical condition following Bafta Cymru's announcement he has been given the special award for outstanding contribution to film and television.

The spokesman said: "Terry has been diagnosed with primary progressive aphasia, a variant of the 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."

Welshman Jones was a key member of the beloved comedy troupe along with Michael, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam and the late Graham Chapman.

As well as starring in their sketch show 'Monty Python's Flying Circus', Jones was responsible for directing the feature films 'Monty Python and the Holy Grail', 'The Life of Brian' and 'Monty Python's The Meaning of Life'.

The surviving members all reunited for 10 live comedy shows, titled 'Monty Python Live (Mostly): One Down, Five to Go', at The O2 in London in 2014 with the shows billed as their final ever performances.

Jones lives with his partner Anna Soderstrom and their seven-year-old daughter Siri. He also has two adult children, Sally and Bill, with his ex-wife Alison Telfer.

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