MY favourite Monty Python member is Terry Jones.

He once invited me to his London home to talk about his love of Vikings We sat in a room where, over red wine, he told me it was the very place the combined Pythons would argue and throw things at each other while writing scripts.

He had vivid recollections that had me in tears.

Terry, 75, chuckled just like his many bizarre alter egos of stage and screen. I saw his inspirational imagination come to life.

Now Terry has dementia. Those wonderful words went out one day and will never come back.

The Llandudno-born writer now only “mutters” a few things according to his pal, Michael Palin.

Yet Terry still enjoys a pint, a movie and most of all a long walk.

So it was heartening to see this most charismatic of celebrities take part in the fund-raising London Memory Walk with 3,500 others in aid of research.

My father fought in the Second World War as one of Monty’s Desert Rats. He spent time in two prisoner-of-war camps.

The German Army couldn’t defeat dad - but back in 2001 “Gunner Grant” lost his battle with Alzheimer’s.

I knew little of this cruel disease, but was determined to do something to highlight it.

I took my mind off it all by opening my first art exhibition.

I raised £1,000 for Alzheimer’s. Jimmy McGovern accepted a cheque I’d written on a football – one that would bounce for all the right reasons.

When I became president of the Liverpool Press Club it was also my chosen charity Now, using Mr Jones smiling inspiration, I will support the 5.5K Liverpool Memory Walk on October 14.

I want to kick away the autumn leaves on the night and remember Gunner and thank Terry - people who have made me lost for words at their kindness, sense of humour and most of all love of life.

Walk on, they say, and you will never walk alone.

YOU can’t beat a bit of good old-fashioned nostalgia.

This week, 70s band Sparks “crashed back into the record charts.”

Now, pop-pickers, that’s one phrase that I haven’t heard since I watched Top of the Pops and endured the plastic DJs of Radio 1.

The US duo of Ron and Russell Mael has created some of the wittiest lyrics and catchy melodies in modern music.

And heaven knows they could teach Morrissey a thing or two and Ed Sheeran - should take note that love songs don’t have to be “dressed-up dirges.”

Sparks album Hippopotamus provides a biting satire on our obsession with e-mails.

But the best wordplay from this articulate pair has to be the title of one of their 27 albums - “Gratuitous Sax and Senseless Violins.”


TALKING of sparkling sensations it was heart-warming to meet two old friends this week: Shirley Valentine (she’s very real person in my view) and the play’s director Glen Walford here at New Brighton’s Floral Pavilion for a week.

I was the press officer for Glen’s mid-80s Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Everyman.

There was one problem in promoting the play set in Bali - every time I sent out a press release Glen’s name was printed wrong - she has only one “N.”

I had to take measures (for measures) and send out a printed statement stating her name was “Glen (correct) Walford.” One magazine took it literally and that’s how she appeared in the publication.

Mind you, I was once pig-sick when I was quoted in a journal as “writer Peter Grunt.”

REGARDING things that rub you up the wrong way. I discovered I am allergic to sun tan lotion a chemist told me.

This led me to seek out an allergy expert. I didn’t want to go alone so I brought along a mate.

I went through all the tests and questionnaires and was told I was allergic to dairy products. I was well cheesed off. I am still trying to cut down till the cows come home.

Alas, my friend wasn’t impressed with his sobering news - he found he is allergic to alcohol. On our way home he had his last one for the road.

He has never looked back since. No more mood swings, he says. So I will go for a top-up in November when the two-day “Allergy & Free From Show - North” arrives at Liverpool Exhibition Centre on November 4 and 5 (hope there’s no dietary fireworks this time). I shall see what state my tolerance levels are at. And it’s free. Now - that’s lifted my lethargy.

BEFORE then I can reveal my tolerance-o-meter has blown a fuse.

I sat through Ben Elton’s recent pompous Comedy Lecture on TV and heard how the one-time motor- mouth crafts his sit-coms.

He asked us critics to consider the amount of dedicated work that goes into such shows.

Sadly, since Blackadder, Ben has created some real stinkers. I cannot abide his latest crude take on Shakespeare’s life in the dire BBC series Upstart Crow.

It’s loud and unsubtle – a case of Ben’s love’s labours lost.

I hear it’s being decommissioned – it’s all going from Bard to worse.

AND finally...I will scotch any rumours that Edinburgh is the best place to live in the UK.

This week it has been described as the “most miserable.”

Polls apart, again.

Peter Grant