Tributes to ‘amazing person and very clever man’ Terry Jones

Undated handout photo issued by Andre Jacquemin, Monty Python's long-standing sound engineer with Terry Jones and Michael Pal
Undated handout photo issued by Andre Jacquemin, Monty Python's long-standing sound engineer with Terry Jones and Michael Palin at the Redwood Recording Studios. Jones has died at the age of 77.

Monty Python’s sound engineer of 50 years has paid tribute to Terry Jones as a man who “loved life and lived it to the full”.

Andre Jacquemin, 68, met the late actor and comedian at Sir Michael Palin’s house in 1970 during recording sessions for the first Monty Python album, titled Monty Python’s Flying Circus.

He worked with the comedy troupe across numerous projects including their last film, 1983’s The Meaning Of Life, earning a Bafta nomination for his music for the song Every Sperm Is Sacred.

Jacquemin told the PA news agency: “Our friendship was quite intense. Obviously, I have been involved in doing all their sound for such a long time. Going round his place for dinner was an experience. He would do all the cooking and he was a fantastic cook.

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Andre Jacquemin with John Cleese and Terry Jones at Redwood Recording Studios (Andre Jacquemin/PA)

“He would be able to knock up a great dinner with lots of bibs and bobs just laying around. He was a lot of fun and just loved life and lived it to the full. He was an amazing person and a very clever man.

“He was well-versed in many aspects of life, which helped his creativity. He was also quite experimental.

“There were lots of times when we would do something and it wasn’t quite right and we would have to twist it around with all the ideas being thrown into the pan. We’d stir it around and we would come out with something very, very good. He was amazingly talented and very quick-witted – very fast indeed.”

Describing his own role within the Pythons, Jacquemin joked: “My job was also to make sense of their terrible filming, really.”

Jacquemin, who co-owns Redwood Recording Studios in London’s Soho, continued to work with the Pythons individually after their split in 1983.

Terry Jones death
Terry Jones (Yui Mok/PA)

He last saw Jones in October 2019 at Camden’s Roundhouse venue, where the Pythons celebrated their 50th anniversary with a Guinness World Record for the “largest gathering of people dressed as Gumbys” – a recurring character in their sketches.

Stars of the film and comedy world also paid tribute to Jones.

Actor and comic Adrian Edmondson remembered Jones’s appearance in an episode of sitcom The Young Ones in the 1980s.

Edmondson tweeted: “Terry Jones was the only Python who agreed to appear in The Young Ones. It was like affirmation from God himself.

“This was the man who’d directed what was, and still is, the funniest feature film ever made. We loved him for it, and always will. Sadly, he’s eaten his last mint…”

Good Omens and America Gods writer Neil Gaiman shared a fond memory of Jones.

He recalled: “36 years ago I met Terry Jones. I was meant to interview him. I asked for tea, so he opened a bottle of Chablis & got me drunk.

“He was funny, brilliant and honest. He was irrepressible and is seen here repressing the very young me. Rest in Peace, Terry. You were an inspiration.”

Along with the tweet, Gaiman shared a picture taken during their interview of Jones jokingly pushing the top of his head.

The picture was captioned: “Neil at the feet of the master.”

Queen guitarist Brian May paid tribute to Jones on Instagram, writing: “So sad to hear of the passing of genius comedy star and wonderful guy, Terry Jones. What a legacy to the world. Deepest condolences to his family and the other beyond fabulous Pythons.”

Russell Brand said on Twitter: “May the dear, great Terry Jones find eternal peace in the loving embrace of Jesus Christ. Or more likely of Brian.”

Writer and actor Mark Gatiss said Jones “was a cornerstone of my growing up, from Python to Ripping Yarns and way beyond”.
“A huge talent – and a very naughty boy. RIP,” he said.

Singer Bryan Adams posted a moving message on Twitter saying: “Condolences to his family and to the other Pythons, I lost my dad to dementia, it’s brutal. My life of Br(y)an younger years would not have been the same without your humour. Thanks for the laughs, we could sure use more these days.”

“Salute to Terry Jones,” said Hollywood star Steve Martin.

Veteran TV host Chris Tarrant recalled how Jones appeared on his ITV children’s show Tiswas.

He said: “Terry Jones was a regular guest on ITV’s Tiswas in the 70s and 80s. His was a wonderful and very special presence in the studio. We all looked forward to his visits.

“He had a natural sense of the absurd which, added to his huge talent, made him one of the greats. I am so sorry to have this news. He is sadly missed.”

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Eddie Izzard with Terry Jones, John Cleese, Sir Michael Palin and Terry Gilliam dressed as Gumbies for a sketch in 1999’s Python Night (Thane Bruckland/PA)

Eddie Izzard, who worked with Monty Python and appeared in Jones’ 2015 film Absolutely Anything, described him as “the guardian of the Monty Python spirit”.

He added: “He, along with Michael Palin, was a big energy behind the more filmed, visual parts of the Python sketches and together with the other five Pythons they pulled and pushed in different artistic directions to create a wondrous, surreal and crazy thing, and change the face of world comedy. He will be greatly missed but well remembered.”

Comic Rufus Hound tweeted: “You may not have the kind of affection for The Pythons that comedy fans of my vintage have, but know that if you’ve ever enjoyed any flavour of surreal, silly anti-comedy, you owe them.

“And Terry Jones was the beating heart of it all. What a man.”

Comedian Richard Herring said that Jones’ book about Chaucer’s Knight’s Tale “got me through my English A level”.

He added: “Was just thinking yesterday (as I listened to Palin’s Erebus) what a supremely intelligent group of men Python were/are.”

Baby Driver director Edgar Wright bid a “very fond farewell” to Jones on Twitter, adding: “Not only 1/6 of the Pythons, Mr Creosote, Arthur Two Sheds Jackson, Dino Vercotti, Mandy Cohen, Prince Herbert, Cardinal Biggles & the Nude Organist, but also esteemed director of all time comedy classic; ‘Life Of Brian’.

“He will be missed.”

Bafta also paid tribute to Jones, tweeting a message alongside a photograph of him with Sir Michael Palin in 2016, saying they were “saddened” to hear of his death.

“Here he is receiving the Special Award For Outstanding Contribution to Film & Television from friend and fellow Python Michael Palin, at the 2016 @BAFTACymru Awards.”

The Alzheimer’s Society said they were “very sorry to hear the sad news” of Jones’ death.

“Terry had been living with dementia since 2015 and we fondly remember his support at our Memory Walks. Our thoughts go out to his friends and family,” they added.

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