Sir Billy Connolly: Parkinson's battle has left me 'near the end'

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Billy Connolly pictured in May 2018. (PA Images)
Billy Connolly pictured in May 2018. (PA Images)

Sir Billy Connolly is set to openly discuss his ongoing struggle with Parkinson’s Disease. The 76-year-old stand-up comedian admits he is ‘near the end’ of his life but that he doesn’t fear death.

Connolly was diagnosed with the degenerative disease in 2013 and will appear in the second part of his BBC documentary Made in Scotland this Friday. According to the Daily Mirror, the star will reflect on both his experiences in showbiz and life after his Parkinson’s diagnosis.

“My life, it’s slipping away and I can feel it and I should,” Sir Billy will say in the documentary, according to the tabloid.

Connolly will reportedly say that while he feels himself ‘slipping away’ he sees ‘the end’ as ‘an adventure.’

“I’m 75, I’m near the end. I’m a damn sight nearer the end than I am the beginning. But it doesn’t frighten me, it’s an adventure and it is quite interesting to see myself slipping away.”

He will continue: “As bits slip off and leave me, talents leave and attributes leave. I don’t have the balance I used to have, I don’t have the energy I used to have.

“I can’t hear the way I used to hear, I can’t see as good as I used to. I can’t remember the way I used to remember. And they all came one at a time and they just slipped away, thank you.

“It is like somebody is in charge of you and they are saying ‘right, I added all these bits when you were a youth, now it is time to subtract’.”

At one point of the documentary, Connolly will reportedly ask filming to stop, as he will be shown struggling with the symptoms of the disease.

Parkinson’s impacts movement and speech, and Connolly was diagnosed after undergoing surgery for early-stage prostate surgery.

A characteristically energetic performer, he has had to significantly cut back on his stand-up performances and comedy tours.

Speaking of his illness he said: “It takes a certain calm to deal with, and I sometimes don’t have it. I sometimes get angry with it, but that doesn’t last long, I just collapse in laughter.”

Billy Connolly: Made in Scotland will air on BBC2 on Friday at 9pm.


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