Monty Python star Michael Palin has penned a moving post about his friend and colleague Terry Jones’ dementia diagnosis. Jones’ diagnosis was revealed earlier this week, with a spokesperson for the actor and writer saying he was no longer able to give interviews.

Terry Jones and Michael PalinMichael Palin has written about his friend Terry Jones’ dementia diagnosis

In a Facebook post Palin shared a recent photo of the pair together and wrote: “Terry J has been my close friend and workmate for over fifty years. The progress of his dementia has been painful to watch and the news announced yesterday that he has a type of aphasia which is gradually depriving him of the ability to speak is about the cruellest thing that could befall someone to whom words, ideas, arguments, jokes and stories were once the stuff of life. Not that Terry is out of circulation."

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"He spends time with his family and only two days ago I met up with him for one of our regular meals at his local pub. Howard Johnson, an American friend of Python, was in town and took this picture. Terry doesn’t say very much but he smiles, laughs, recognises and responds, and I’m always pleased to see him. Long may that last."

On Friday a spokesperson for Jones announced the news that he had been diagnosed with primary progressive aphasia, a severe variant of dementia. Welsh-born Jones is set to be honoured by Bafta Cymru next month, with an outstanding contribution award.

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“Terry Jones has been diagnosed with progressive Primary Progressive Aphasia, a variant of Frontotemporal Dementia. This illness affects his ability to communicate and he is no longer able to give interviews,” the statement read. “Terry is proud and honoured to be recognised in this way and is looking forward to the celebrations.”