Terry Jones' death was announced today after a four-year battle with a rare form of dementia.

The Monty Python star, who directed Life of Brian and Monty Python's The Meaning Of Life, died aged 74.

He had been suffering from primary progressive aphasia, which affected his ability to communicate and give interivews.

He was eventually robbed of the ability to speak at all.

Alzheimers Research explains that there are three different ways those affected show symptoms: Some forget the meanings of words and concepts; some find it harder to speak and make speech errors; while others struggle to find the words they are looking for and take long pauses.

Last September, spokesperson revealed: “Terry has been diagnosed with primary progressive aphasia, a variant of frontotemporal dementia.

Terry Jones was diagnosed with primary progressive aphasia

“This illness affects his ability to communicate and he is no longer able to give interviews.

His Monty Python co star Michael Palin visited him in the weeks leading up to his death, and opened up about how the disease was affecting him.

While on BBC Radio 2, presenter Zoe Ball asked Michael how Terry was doing.

Eric Idle, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Michael Palin and Terry Jones of Monty Python

He said: "Well, not terribly well – the kind of dementia he has is not something that can be cured particularly. It’s just a matter of time.

"I go and see him, but he can’t speak much, which is a terrible thing.

"I mean, for someone who was so witty and verbal and articulate and argued and debated, to be deprived of speech is a hard thing."

Michael Palin and Terry Jones in 2014

But Michael did reveal a heartwarming face - he brought Terry a book they wrote together in the 1980s, called Bert Eggs's Encyclopaedia of All World Knowledge.

Terry read it, and laughed at the parts he had written himself, without Michael.

Terry's family released a statement today, which read: 'We are deeply saddened to have to announce the passing of beloved husband and father, Terry Jones.

Terry Jones attends the "Monty Python And The Holy Grail" Special Screening during the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival

'Terry passed away on the evening of 21 January 2020 at the age of 77 with his wife Anna Soderstrom by his side after a long, extremely brave but always good humoured battle with a rare form of dementia, FTD.

'Over the past few days his wife, children, extended family and many close friends have been constantly with Terry as he gently slipped away at his home in north London.

'We have all lost a kind, funny, warm, creative and truly loving man whose uncompromising individuality, relentless intellect and extraordinary humour has given pleasure to countless millions across six decades.

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'His work with Monty Python, his books, films, television programmes, poems and other work will live on forever, a fitting legacy to a true polymath.'

His co stars, including John Cleese, have paid tribute to him on social media.

He is survived by his wife Anna and children Bill, Sally and Siri.