A Tribute To Monty Python’s Terry Jones

A Tribute To Monty Python’s Terry Jones

Ask A Python

The very sad news reached us earlier today that Terry Jones, formerly of Monty Python and a well-respected TV historian too, has just died at the age of 77. Here’s a BFI interview from five years ago with him talking about his comedy influences and more…

Terence Graham Parry Jones (1 February 1942 – 21 January 2020) was a Welsh actor, writer, comedian, screenwriter, film director and historian. He was a member of the Monty Python comedy team.

After graduating from Oxford University with a degree in English, Jones and writing partner Michael Palin (whom he met at Oxford) wrote and performed for several high-profile British comedy programmes, including Do Not Adjust Your Set and The Frost Report, before creating Monty Python’s Flying Circus with Cambridge graduates Eric Idle, John Cleese and Graham Chapman, and American animator/filmmaker Terry Gilliam. Jones was largely responsible for the programme’s innovative, surreal structure, in which sketches flowed from one to the next without the use of punchlines. He made his directorial debut with the team’s first film, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, which he co-directed with Gilliam, and also directed the subsequent Python films, Life of Brian and The Meaning of Life.

Jones co-created and co-wrote with Palin the anthology series Ripping Yarns. He also wrote an early draft of Jim Henson’s 1986 film Labyrinth, though little of his work remained in the final cut. Jones was a well-respected medieval historian, having written several books and presented television documentaries about the period, as well as a prolific children’s book author.

In 2016, Jones received a Lifetime Achievement award at the BAFTA Cymru Awards for his outstanding contribution to television and film. After living for several years with a degenerative aphasia, he gradually lost the ability to speak and died yesterday 21 January 2020.

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