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Michael Palin ‘quite relieved’ after Monty Python co-star Terry Jones’ death: ‘He wasn’t happy towards the end’


The star, who worked with Terry for decades, said that his co-star’s death has left a ‘gap’ in his life.

‘Terry was an instigator, Terry started things, Terry was the spirit of Python, he kept things moving on,’ Michael explained. ‘When we thought “We’ve had enough”, Terry said “No, let’s do another series.”‘

The 76-year-old added to ITV News that Terry wasn’t able to be very communicative over the past few years due to his battle with dementia.

‘That I won’t be able to talk to him, even if he isn’t listening, is sad,’ he explained.  ‘In a way I am quite relieved for him and the family around… he wasn’t happy towards the end.’

Michael went on to say: ‘He was enormously supportive of me. He was always there to help, wherever he could, he was a most unselfish man.’

Michael and Terry worked together for years on projects including Monty Python, as well as The Life Of Brian.

The pair have worked together for decades (Picture: Getty Images)

Eric Idle and John Cleese are also among the late actor’s co-stars to be paying tribute following his tragic death.

‘Just heard about Terry J,’ John tweeted. ‘It feels strange that a man of so many talents and such endless enthusiasm, should have faded so gently away…

‘Of his many achievements, for me the greatest gift he gave us all was his direction of ‘Life of Brian’. Perfection.’

The star added afterwards: ‘Two down, four to go.’

Terry passed away at age 77 on 21 January with his wife Anna by his side.

Terry passed away at age 77 (Picture: Getty Images for the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival)

In 2015, the Monty Python star was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia – an uncommon form of dementia which starts at a younger age, affects the front and sides of the brain and causes issues with behaviour and language.

While his co-star Michael stuck by his side throughout his illness, Terry’s mental capacity deteriorated fairly rapidly, with Michael admitting that his friend hardly recognised him and was barely able to speak during visits.

Speaking to Zoe Ball about how his friend was doing in November, Palin said: ‘Well, not terribly well – the kind of dementia he has is not something that can be cured particularly. It’s just a matter of time. I go and see him, but he can’t speak much, which is a terrible thing.

‘I mean, for someone who was so witty and verbal and articulate and argued and debated and all that to be deprived of speech is a hard thing.’

Nonetheless, the actor revealed that Terry never lost his sense of humour, with Michael recalling reading aloud a book they’d written together in the 1980s to his friend, only for Terry to suddenly smile and laugh.



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MORE: Eric Idle pays tribute to ‘brother’ Terry Jones after Monty Python star dies of dementia

MORE: Terry Jones’s most iconic Monty Python moments as star dies aged 77





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