Billy Connolly opens up about Parkinson’s battle as he says its getting worse

In a rare interview, beloved comedian Sir Billy Connolly has opened up about his life and how he is coping with the crippling disease.

Referring to some of the physical challenges, Connolly, 78, said: “Well, the challenges lately have been medical, aye, they're getting worse. Have you noticed I've been holding my left hand as we have been going on, it is starting to jump around.”

The interview was conducted by his wife Dr Pamela Stephenson Connolly at their Florida home

He added: “So I will have to weigh it up and see how bad it gets, I don't know, we will play it by ear.”

  • Billy Connolly fronts new TV show after quitting stand-up comedy amid Parkinson's battle

Connolly added: “It happens when I least expect it. I'll be talking to you and I think 'ah my hand is shaking' and I will grab it. But it is not much of a problem.”

Asked if filming presented any new challenges at this stage in his life, Connolly said: “Not really, but the way I think everything is a new challenge. I hardly prepare, so I turn up unprepared and everything is a new challenge. It keeps your eyes open, it is good fun.”

The legendary stand up comedian, TV star and actor was in great spirits as he received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Edinburgh TV Festival on Monday.

When Connolly was first diagnosed in 2013, he joked: “I’ve got Parkinson’s disease. I wish he’d f***ing kept it.”

Connolly, who performed his last stand-up comedy gig in 2017 and was forced to stop touring by ill health, said in the documentary: “It’s got me and it will get me and it will end me but that’s OK with me.”

He added: “I started low and I ended high. Just staying up there, until it is time to stop, seems a natural and good thing to do. It is a good thing to be proud of, I wanted to be a funnyman and I got it.”

Connolly’s career on the road was cut short when Parkinson’s meant he could no longer remember his stories properly. Confirming he will never do another show, he said: “I’ve done my stand-up. I did it for 50 years. I did it quite well. And it is time to stop.”

Connolly is currently living In Florida with his wife, the writer Pamela Stephenson, and writing his autobiography.

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