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Terry Jones makes first public appearance since dementia diagnosis revealed

ShowbizBy Sunday World
Terry Jones makes first public appearance since dementia diagnosis revealed

Terry Jones made his first public appearance on Sunday (02.10.16) since revealing he is battling dementia.

The 74-year-old comedy legend has been diagnosed with a form of the illness known as Primary Progressive Aphasia, which involves a progressive loss of language function, but attended the Bafta Cymru awards to receive an accolade for his outstanding contribution to television and film.

Fellow 'Monty Python' star Michael Palin presented him with the award at the event in Cardiff, Wales, while Terry's son Bill Jones gave an acceptance speech on his father's behalf.

Michael paid tribute to his "most wonderful friend" while Terry managed to jokingly tell the crowd to "quieten down" before a tearful Bill spoke.

He said: "It's a great honour for dad. We're so proud of him... with the struggles we're having at the moment, it's been hard."

Earlier Michael reminisced about working and studying at Oxford with Terry when they were younger.

He said: "Life seemed more exciting when Terry was around.

"The first sketch we performed was as a pair of police officers at the Edinburgh festival and for the next few years we were inseparable.

"His force of character and tireless workaholism kept us all up to the mark. He has been relentlessly prolific while being a wonderful friend."

Host Huw Stephens called Terry "a national treasure".

Terry's spokesman revealed the star's medical condition last month 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 Palin, 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.