Terry Jones: I'd like a robot butler – if it can peel potatoes

What's your favourite piece of technology, and how has it improved your life?
I think it's the lavatory. It's improved my life absolutely – I couldn't live without it. I use it constantly during the day, and it gets rid of all the stuff I don't want in my life. My least favourite is my computer, because that dominates my life and takes up so much of my time. And I don't think I write any better on the computer.

When was the last time you used it, and what for?
The last time I used the lavatory was this morning – and I had a really good go on it, it was one of those very satisfactory poos.

What additional features would you add if you could?
I suppose I would actually like to have a proper newspaper rack or stand beside it, where you could have books. At the moment I only have a little stool, and everything falls off. And maybe a seat warmer, possibly?

Do you think it will be obsolete in 10 years' time?
I suppose if everybody stops eating and drinking it will be, but I guess it will march on – until the sewerage system breaks down, which is likely in the coming breakdown of civilisation that is bound to happen.

What always frustrates you about technology in general?
I think it's how it takes over our lives. You discover a simple solution to something, and then it mushrooms and gets out of hand.

If you had one tip about getting the best out of new technology, what would it be?
Use it sparingly. Like they say on the anchovy paste that is Gentleman's Relish.

Do you consider yourself to be a luddite or a nerd?
I don't think I'm either, really – I'm in that amorphous in-between mass. I fought against having a mobile phone for years, but then I was forced to get one because everyone else had one – I was told I was being unfair because nobody could get hold of me.

What's the most expensive piece of technology you've ever owned?
A piano – it was a Broadbent, and they went out of business shortly after I bought it.

Mac or PC, and why?
Well, Mac, because Douglas Adams, who was a great friend of mine, would have had a heart attack if I'd bought a PC – he was such a fan of the Mac. It was because of Douglas that I started getting into computers.

Do you still buy CDs and DVDs, or do you download music and films? What was your last purchase?
Yeah, I do, I buy physical media. I think the last thing I bought was a DVD of a Japanese film.

Robot butlers – a good idea or not?
Well, a good idea, as long as you don't have to talk to it. And as long as it doesn't want to get into bed with you.

What piece of technology would you most like to own?
I'd like something that peels potatoes really quickly – that would be wonderful. I do a lot of cooking, you see. Then again, I suppose the robot butler could always do it.

A new Monty Python video game, The Ministry of Silly Games, will be released next year. ministryofsillygames.com

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