Steve Coogan on Terry Jones: he was the heart and voice of Monty Python

When Coogan played Mole in Jones’s film of The Wind in the Willows, it sparked a friendship with a comic he had idolised since childhood – and who was equally brilliant in real life

I was too young to catch the first, or even the second, Monty Python series when it went out on TV. So I used to listen to the records instead. There’s more detail and production value in vinyl, more craft. I still know a lot of the sketches off pat. I can recite them even now.

Listening to those records and seeing Monty Python and the Holy Grail at the cinema showed me that comedy anarchy wasn’t just legitimate, you could actually make a living from it. In some ways, it was very accessible and silly, but also esoteric and deliberately avant-garde. Terry Jones was the sort of affectionate, lovable side of Python. He
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