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John Cleese, Sir Michael Palin and Terry Gilliam bid farewell to Terry Jones

A private, humanist ceremony was held at Golders Green Crematorium, in London, for the late Monty Python star Terry Jones (Jonathan Brady/PA)
A private, humanist ceremony was held at Golders Green Crematorium, in London, for the late Monty Python star Terry Jones (Jonathan Brady/PA)

John Cleese, Sir Michael Palin and Terry Gilliam have said farewell to their fellow Python Terry Jones at the comedy giant’s funeral.

The actor and comedian, who also directed some of the comedy troupe’s most-loved works, died last month, at the age of 77.

A private, humanist ceremony was held at Golders Green Crematorium West Chapel, in London, to pay tribute to a “bold, brilliant and beautiful man”, followed by a small wake in a Highgate pub.

The comedy star’s coffin entered the service to How Sweet To Be An Idiot, by the late Monty Python songwriter Neil Innes.

Friends and family were told that “Terry”, whose much-quoted comedy lines included “He’s not the Messiah, he’s a very naughty boy!”, had “no airs and graces”.

“The only prerequisite Terry had, was that you had to not be boring,” the service was told.

His “final breaths”, which came after suffering from a form of dementia which affects the ability to communicate, “were gentle and untroubled”.

Tributes were given by his wife Anna Soderstrom, older children Bill and Sally and the Monty Python star’s ex-wife Alison Telfer.

Eric Idle, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Sir Michael Palin and Terry Jones
Eric Idle, left to right, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Sir Michael Palin and Terry Jones (Philip Toscano/PA)

Sir Michael, whose relationship with the late star and Life Of Brian director was described by Jones’s family as “more like a marriage”, also paid tribute.

And an extract of The Diary Of Samuel Pepys was read by another of Jones’s friends, actor Richard Ridings.

Ms Soderstrom told how Jones approached his dementia “with his usual good humour”.

The late Terry Jones (right) with Sir Michael Palin
Terry Jones, right, with Sir Michael Palin (Steve Parsons/PA)

“As his speech faded, the layers of social convention disappeared too. But what was left was the real Terry,” she said.

“And it was just as nice, just as naughty – maybe naughtier – and just as good-natured and generous as the Terry we have always known.”

The private funeral was also attended by Carol Cleveland, who also worked on Monty Python, as well as comedy TV producer John Lloyd and screen stars Sanjeev Bhaskar and Jon Culshaw.

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