‘Behold His mother! Behold His mother! Hail to thee, mother of Brian! Blessed art thou, Hosanna! All praise to thee, now and always!”
Try as she might, Terry Jones’ character in Life of Brian can’t persuade the followers of her son to “shove off” and they talk her into letting them see him for “one minute but not one second more”.
It was a masterful performance by Jones, who has died at 77, in a film that he stressed was not a parody of Christ but rather those followers who “for the next 2,000 years would torture and kill each other because they couldn’t agree on what he was saying about peace and love”.
As fellow Python star Michael Palin said, Jones was not just “one of the funniest writer-performers of his generation” but “the complete Renaissance comedian”, a writer, a presenter, a historian and “the warmest, most wonderful company you could wish to have”.
There aren’t many people about whom no one has a bad word to say, but Jones seems to have been one.
So for that reason and for his life-enriching good humour, the Scotsman would like to say: “All praise to thee, now and always!”