Michael Palin: Terry Jones' dementia battle 'painful to watch'

Michael Palin, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam and John Cleese. Credit: Ian West / PA Archive

Michael Palin has said the impact of dementia on his friend and fellow Monty Python star Terry Jones has been "painful to watch".

Jones, 74, who directed Monty Python's Life of Brian and Monty Python's The Meaning of Life, and co-directed Monty Python and the Holy Grail with Terry Gilliam, is suffering from primary progressive aphasia, which affects his ability to communicate.

Palin and Jones are members of the famous comedy troupe, which also includes John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle and Graham Chapman.

In a moving post on Facebook, Palin said the impact on Jones' ability to speak is "the cruellest thing that could befall someone to whom words, ideas, arguments, jokes and stories were once the stuff of life".

Palin added that he had met up with Jones earlier this week and the Welsh-born actor had been smiling and laughing.