Local BBC Sites

Neighbouring Sites

Page last updated at 09:01 GMT, Saturday, 12 December 2009
'How Welsh am I?' asks Monty Python's Terry Jones

Monty Python star Terry Jones has an emotional recollection of meeting his father for the first time, on his return from war

Monty Python star Terry Jones is the final celebrity to return to Wales in the hope of finding out more about his Welsh ancestry in Coming Home: Terry Jones.

The 67-year-old is keen to find out the answer to a question that has bothered him all his life - just how Welsh is he?

"How Welsh I am has always been a real problem to me," he says. "I've never really known. So I'm a little bit nervous about this as I might be exposed as not a proper Welshman."

The journey takes Terry to Colwyn Bay, where he was born and brought up until the family moved to south east England when he was four-and-a-half years old.

"I bitterly didn't want to leave and hated being transported to the London suburbs. I always regretted that and was always saying 'I'm Welsh'," he says.

Terry, a popular historian, with TV series on ancient and medieval periods behind him, admits he knew very little about his own Welsh roots.

But tracing the family back on his father's side to 1760, it soon becomes clear to Terry that his roots are firmly planted in Wales.

He learns about his ancestors who worked in the Flintshire lead mines and of his great grandmother's role as servant to north Wales' most influential family - the Mostyns.

He visits Gloddaeth Hall (now St David's College), in Llandudno to see where she would have worked, learns of her rise up the social ladder and also how this period in her life would lead to troubling times in a Rhyl hotel.

He also visits Colwyn Bay railway station, recalling meeting his father for the first time. Having been sent to war, Terry's father was away with the RAF when he was born, and the first time he saw his father was on the railway platform as he returned from war - a vivid and emotional memory that has an effect on Terry.

The final destination on his journey is to the home he spent his early years in - a place that holds many happy memories. As he returns home, he muses over his visit.

"It's been a terrific experience - digging around in my past and unearthing things. It's a great gift. It's been very fulfilling and exciting. I've learnt so much about my past that I never knew."

Coming Home: 7.30pm, Monday, 14 December, BBC One Wales




Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2017 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific