Billy Connolly: Parkinson’s “will end me- its been a pleasure”

Billy Connolly has said, “Parkinson’s will end me- its been a pleasure”.

Comedian Billy Connelly has made a frank admission to his fans as he revealed an update on his Parkinson’s disease condition. Nicknamed The Big Yin, he was forced to stop touring in 2017 because of his declining mental cognition, however, he still managed to reminisce on his decades of making people laugh.

In a new documentary exploring the past few years, the Scottish funnyman, and ex-shipyard welder, admits Parkinson’s will get him eventually. The aptly titled Billy Connolly: It’s Been A Pleasure, Billy credited his fans for keeping him happy: “It’s been a pleasure talking to you all those years. From the beginning when I was a folkie, right through, I couldn’t have done anything without you. You have been magnificent.”

Connolly made the decision to step back from the stage in 2017 when the disease caused him to forget how to tell his hilarious stories properly. He said, quote: “I’ve done my stand-up. I did it for 50 years. I did it quite well. And it is time to stop,” he said in the ITV documentary. My illness, my Parkinson’s disease, has rendered me different. It would either mean renewing what I do and doing something else or give up what I did and that’s what I’ve done. Why do I like to make people laugh? Because it is a jolly thing, it is good for you and it is good for them. It is a dynamite thing to be able to do, to get a laugh out of someone.”

He has credited a 1975 appearance on Michael Parkinson’s BBC chat show with “changing his life”, catapulting him to global fame and a career in comedy that earned him a knighthood in 2017. Sir Billy’s career on the road was cut short when Parkinson’s meant he could no longer remember his stories in the way he used to.

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Written by

Tony Winterburn

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