'Wife of Brian': Michael Palin plays role in Monty Python superfans' engagement
Python fanatic John Wood has finally found love with fellow fan Gemma Harris who loves the wacky comedy as much as he does - and popped the question in front of Sheffield's own Michael Palin and Terry Gilliam.
John had been single for five years before Gemma's uncle spotted an article about the Python dating Facebook group in a national paper by chance and showed it to her.
After two-and-a-half years of dating, John decided it was time to make Gemma his 'wife of Brian' and popped the question the best way he could.
He said: "We both went to this show where we were going to be in the presence of Terry Gilliam and Michael Palin.
"I've met them many times before but I just thought this would be perfect."
The 33-year-old, who lived in Netheravon, near Salisbury, then joined and the pair started their new romance just two-and-a-half years ago.
The 57-year-old is the first to find love in the group, which has more than 140 members and aims to help fans "find each other, and so find love, intellectual fulfilment and everlasting happiness".
John decided to pop the question at a show featuring the Pythons, hosted by Sanjeev Bhaskar, called 'An Englishman and Indian and an American Walk into a Bar at the Roundhouse' in Camden, north London, on February 3.
The social media manager, who has thousands of pounds worth of memorabilia, has seen Python musical Spamalot 13 times and has met most of the cast members on numerous occasions, managed to get the cast gathered around as he got down on one knee.
John added: "It was very tricky, I was so nervous I had no idea if everything was going to come together, I was on my own Gemma's had no idea where I was, finally the moment arrived and I did it in the VIP after party.
"I got two strangers to film and take still pictures and they got a really good shot where you can see the ring, Michael Palin and Terry Gilliam are behind and Gemma is just so excited - it just looks so magical.
"Michael Palin even says 'will you marry me?' and then he said 'I wish you a long and happy life together', which was very nice.
"Apparently we were the first proposal at the Roundhouse and we are the first Python wedding from the Facebook group."
The pair, who now live in East Grinstead, West Sussex, have previously been on a romantic trip to Paris to visit the locations where scenes from their favourite film Brazil, directed by Python animator Terry Gillian, were shot.
But John decided to search for a partner who shared his passion for the comedy, which started in 1969, famous for the Dead Parrot sketch, Ministry of Silly Walks and the Lumberjack song, after his first wife disliked the series.
So John set up the Pythonesque Dating Facebook page to try and find love.
John said: "When I was married the first time for 15 years my ex-wife didn't like Python.
"Since it's been a major part of my life since I was 13, I thought my next girlfriend should be a Python fan.
"It's very rare I meet anyone as into it as I am. If you love something it makes you more compatible.
"I couldn't find any girls as obsessed with Python as I was so I thought I had to set up my own dating site and Facebook group.
"But nothing was happening, then there was a story in the Sun and the People newspapers about my site and Gemma's uncle saw it and showed her.
"So she joined the site and we got chatting and met and just went from there. We had so much in common."
As a superfan, John won a competition to tweet for a new film about Graham Chapman, A liar's Autobiography, by proving he was the "biggest fan" to by the British Film Institute in 2012 after dedicating 43 years to the BBC series and the spin-off films.
John says he even met his first wife through his love of Python as he only knew her through his friendship with her ex-husband - who he was friends with because they both liked the show.
Father-of-one, John, added: "I'm sure there's going to be other single Python fans out there who really should be together, it would be great to bring another couple together just like us.
"It's not just a TV show, it's about how you look at the world. It's about finding someone else who understands that whacky comedy and when you do it really works.
"Gemma is a big fan, she is a close second, we always analyse the shows and talk about what we find funny. I'm still finding new things funny about it 40 years later.
"Things remind us of Python all the time, situations we find ourselves in all the time such as she'll ask me a question and I'll reply with Python joke. It's the kind of thing no one else would get."
The happy couple haven't set a date or decided on the venue, which may or may not include a Python theme.
John said: "I just want something classic, I don't think either of us are going to be doing silly walks down the aisle."