PASSED/FAILED: Terry Jones

Interview
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The Independent Online
Terry Jones, 54, is a former Python. He wrote, directed and played Toad in the new film of The Wind in the Willows. The Knight and the Squire, his novel for children, is out next year.

Top of the Form? At grammar school in Guildford, I was in the shooting eight and won the Queen's Hundred, that is, was in the 100 best shots at Bisley that year. I became company sergeant-major in the corps for a short time.

Glittering prize? I won the Powell Essay Prize with an essay on Wilfred Owen. This was slightly marred by the fact that I was the only person who went in for it.

O-Levels? My highest marks were in English (Language and Literature). I also passed History, Spanish, French and Art, and I scraped through Maths. Like almost the entire class, I failed Latin; we had to take it again in the autumn (in autumno), when I scraped through.

A-Levels? I failed French and passed History. I just scraped through English, although it was my best subject; the teacher had given us the classic talk about reading the rubric, but in the Shakespeare paper I did four questions in a section requiring only two - and two questions in a section needing four.

University? I read English at St Edmund's Hall, Oxford. To what degree? A second. Not a good second or a bad second but a middle second. Technically, I don't have a degree as I never collected it because at the time I didn't have the 12 quid it cost. I discovered later the council would have paid for this.

Further qualifications? No, although I've had some awards for programmes. In my first driving test I went over a zebra crossing with an old lady on it; I passed second time.

And now for something completely different? I'd like to read some more history. Also, I've learnt Italian off BBC tapes listened to in the car; I came out at the end with a terrific Italian accent because, unlike French which I was taught by English people, I've only ever heard Italians speaking. I have no comprehension of the vocabulary, though, and wouldn't want to sit an exam in it

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