Michael Palin reveals sweet final meeting with Terry Jones

Danny Thompson
Contributor
Michael Palin (L) and Terry Jones arrive for the 25th British Academy Cymru Awards at St David's Hall on October 2, 2016 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)

Michael Palin has opened up about his touching final meeting with Terry Jones before he died from dementia.

The Monty Python pair were pals right to the end, with Palin regularly visiting Jones when the disease took over his life, before eventually leading to his death aged 77 in January.

And now Palin has revealed how he used to entertain Jones when visiting him, and revealed a touching moment when he helped his friend “truly defeated the dementia”.

Read more: Michael Palin wells up as he remembers 'wonderful companion' Terry Jones

Speaking to The Oldie magazine Palin said of his last visit to Jones: "He clearly was very unwell but I talked to him as I always did. I wouldn't accept the dementia had shut his understanding up. It had shut his communication up.

"We sang 'Every Sperm Is Sacred' from 'The Meaning of Life'. Unfortunately we couldn't remember all the words. So if Terry was hearing me at all then he just heard what a complete shower we were."

Palin and Jones met as students in the early 1960s and became comedy royalty alongside Eric Idle, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam and Graham Chapman when they made the classic and influential TV series Monty Python’s Flying Circus.

Monty Python John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Michael Palin, Terry Jones, Eric Idle, Graham Chapman, Los Angeles, May 16th, 1975. (Photo by Ben Martin/Getty Images)

The troupe, known collectively as Monty Python or simply the Pythons, moved into film after the series ended and made waves with hits such as Monty Python and The Holy Grail, Monty Python’s Life of Brian and Monty Python’s Meaning of Life.

The individual Pythons all went on to have glittering careers in various fields, and occasionally some would work together.

One such project was Dr Fegg's Encyclopaedia of All World Knowledge, a book co-written by Palin and Jones in 1984.

Read more: Terry Jones’ best lines from Monty Python

Palin revealed how he read the book to Jones at his bedside, and it brought on a touching response from him despite the advanced state of the illness which eventually led to his death.

Palin said of the reading: "Rather like when you listen to a piece of music you know, he immediately reacted and laughed at two or three points.

"I hadn't heard him laugh for such a long time. The great thing was he laughed only at the bits he'd written. He truly defeated the dementia there."