Monty Python's Terry Jones has Dementia

(Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP)

Just terrible.

The comedy genius behind Monty Python, Terry Jones, has been diagnosed with dementia.

The news came as Bafta Cymru announced he had been given a special award for outstanding contribution to film and television.

A representative for the writer and director said: “Terry has been diagnosed with primary progressive aphasia, a variant of 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.”

Those of us who have made our lives in the comedy trade generally hold the entire Monty Python troupe in the highest esteem, obviously. They’re an enduring presence in professional humor in a way that’s difficult to describe. If you are under 60, it seems like Python has just always been there.

Which makes this news even worse. Dementia is an insidious disease, but somehow seems even more so when it attacks a mind like Jones’. Obviously, it’s always tragic.

Watch a quick retrospective of some of Jones’ Python work (mild content warning) on the next page. Enjoy.