THE UK’s biggest Monty Python fan who started a dating website for fellow fans has been the first to find his soul mate through it – an art history graduate from Netheravon.

John Wood, from East Grinstead, Sussex, has featured in the nation’s headlines on numerous occasions for his love of the comedy group, being crowned the UK’s biggest Python fan by the British Film Institute in 2012.

Last week he was named as one of the world’s superachievers by US academic Professor Molly Lavik in her new book Going Supernova: The Bold Paths of 101 Superachievers, recognising that not only did he know more about the pythons than they did themselves but that he had made a life of following his passion.

The 54-year-old divorcé, who has been to see the Monty Python musical Spamalot 16 times and has a house full of Python memorabilia, has met all of the surviving pythons at least once and is currently working on a book backed by Eric Idle.

He said he was thrilled to have finally found a kindred spirit who was almost as obsessed by the films and series as himself.

“My ex hated it and considered it infantile drivel,” he said, “but to me it’s very important and is a very good way of matching up people.

“I came up with the idea of the dating website on Facebook and as I’m on the site admin, I get to welcome all the new members and see who’s who.

“I got talking to Gemma who said Brazil, was also her favourite movie and I just thought ‘wow’.”

The lucky lady is Gemma Harris, a 30-year-old who works for McColl Newsagents in Netheravon and in online public relations.

She said: “I was single and was looking for somebody and noticed John’s Monty Python Facebook page and thought why not, it will be a bit of fun and if I don’t find anyone, I will find some new friends.

“John got in touch with me and we discovered we had the same interests and sense of humour, and it grew from there.

“Monty Python is incredibly silly but it’s not just daft men mucking about, although it is, it’s about history and philosophy and it’s just so funny.

“Even though we have seen it all over and over, we just laugh and laugh – we never get bored with it as it’s such a giggle.”

The couple’s first date involved the live Monty Python show at the 02 Arena and they are looking forward to future ones involving seeing Spamalot for the 17th and 18th time, and a trip to Scotland to visit Doune Castle where Monty Python and the Holy Grail was filmed.