Billy Connolly jokes with wife Pamela Stephenson about dessert
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The Scottish comic, commonly known as the Big Yin, returned to ITV screens for the premiere of his latest documentary Billy Connolly: My Absolute Pleasure. The presenter, who announced he would be stepping down from stand-up comedy after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, released a film that explored his illustrious life in showbusiness before taking his final bow. Fans were delighted to hear that the 79-year-old performer had a surprise follow-up documentary in store which aired on Boxing Day. During the ITV programme, Billy heartbreakingly confessed he hides his symptoms for the sake of his children following his diagnosis.
The father of five admitted: “I have to behave in a certain way so my children don’t think I’m a dead loss and so they don’t feel sorry for me.”
Speaking on his ITV documentary, Sir Billy reflected on his losses, he said: “Parkinson’s Disease has taken a lot from me.”
He added: “I can’t play the banjo anymore. It’s just a noise. I can’t yodel anymore. I can’t smoke cigars.”
Billy, who now resides with his wife Pamela and their children in the Florida Keys, was diagnosed with the brain disorder back in 2013.
“It’s taken more and more of what I like– it’s kind of painful,” the TV star revealed.
He continued: “But you have to have a Glasgow attitude and say, ‘Oh, you think you’ve got me beat, try this for size’.”
The former actor claimed he had a more practical approach to his illness after he stated: “I just deal with it. If I fall, I fall.”
ITV audiences saw his attention move to the afterlife after he remarked: “I think about death a lot, not in an excessive amount. I think about it every day.”
“I’ve seen people die and it’s ok. It’s not painful,” he continued.
Adapting a more peaceful approach to death, the host added: “You just go away and it’s gone.
“You exhale. It’s nothing to be frightened of.
“It’s better to be bright and optimistic and have a laugh. You pass this way but once.”
In jest, the Scottish comic quipped: “I sound like an end-of-the-pier preacher.”
“But be thoughtful and kind and it’ll come back to you.”
In the midst of the follow-up programme, Billy gave a heartwarming statement when he said: “There’s only love. That’s all there is.”
After moving to the US, Billy revealed how he spent his free time: “I either go and draw or go [and] fish, it is like dying and going to heaven.” he told Steve Wright on his BBC Radio Show.
Fans of the comic saw the new documentary follow Billy as he launched his first-ever autobiography, Windswept & Interesting: My Autobiography.
After an impressive career on the comedy circuit, the Scottish host told BBC Radio Two listeners how he couldn’t watch his own stand-up.
Speaking on the Steve Wright afternoon show, he confessed: “I don’t look at them at all.”
At the thought of watching his old performances back, he claimed: “I get all wobbly…I think they might not be funny anymore.”
Billy Connolly: My Absolute Pleasure is available to watch on ITV Hub
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