Legendary actor Terry Jones of Monty Python has died at the age of 77. The Welsh actor and writer played a number of characters in the comedy group’s Flying Circus TV series.
In recent years, the Welsh actor, director, author and historian battled primary progressive aphasia, a rare form of dementia that affects speech. In a tweet, actor John Cleese said he was “a man of so many talents and such endless enthusiasm.”
Jones was known for playing a variety of Monty Python roles including one of the climbers in a skit called Climbing the North Face of the Uxbridge Road in 1972. Read the script and watch the short skit below.
Cut to mountain climbers, with all the accoutrements: ropes, carabino’s, helmets, pitons, hammers, etc. They are roped together, apparently climbing a mountain.
Climbing. The world’s loneliest sport, where hardship and philosophy go hand in glove. And here, another British expedition, attempting to be the first man to successfully climb the north face of the Uxbridge Road. (Pull out to reveal that they are climbing along a wide pavement; a shopper pushing a pram comes into shot) This four-man rope has been climbing tremendously. BBC cameras were there to film every inch.
Cut to a BBC cameraman clinging to a lamppost, filming. He is wearing climbing gear too. Cut to papier mache model of the Uxbridge Road, with the route all neatly marked out in white, and various little pins for the camps.
(voice over) The major assault on the Uxbridge Road has been going on for about three weeks, really ever since they established base camp here at the junction of Willesden Road, and from there they climbed steadily to establish camp two, outside Lewis’s, and it’s taken them another three days to establish camp three, here outside the post office. (cut to a pup tent being firmly planted on the side of a large post-box; it has a little union jack on it.) Well they’ve spent a good night in there last night in preparation for the final assault today. The leader of the expedition is twenty-nine-year-old Bert Tagg – a local headmaster and mother of three.
Cut to Bert crawling along the pavement. The interviewer is crouching down beside him.
Bert. How’s it going?
Well, it’s a bit gripping is this, Chris. (heavy breathing interspersed) I’ve got to try and reach that bus stop in an hour or so and I’m doing it by… (rearranging rope) damn … I’m doing it, er, by laying back on this gutter so I’m kind of guttering and laying back at the same time, and philosophizing.
Bert, some people say this is crazy.
Aye, well but they said Crippen was crazy didn’t they?
Crippen was crazy.
Oh, well there you are then. (shouts) John, I’m sending you down this carabiner on white. (there is a white rope between Bert and John)
Quick cut to Viking.
Cut back to the street.
Now you see he’s putting a peg down there because I’m quite a way up now, and if I come unstuck here I go down quite a long way.
Climbing the North Face of Uxbridge Road
In Monty Python’s 1971 film ‘And Now for Something Completely Different’ the cast brings a mountaineer into the film a sketch called Kilimanjaro Expedition.
Terry Jones, while he didn’t appear in the sketch, was one of the writers. Watch most of it below.
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