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Billy Connolly says Parkinson's 'will end me' as he confirms he will never do another show

Katie Archer
·Contributor
·2-min read
Billy Connolly will talk about his illness in a new documentary
Billy Connolly will talk about his illness in a new documentary

Sir Billy Connolly has said Parkinson’s disease “will end me” - but added that he was OK with that as he “ended high”.

The comedian has opened up about the progress of his illness in ITV documentary Billy Connolly: It’s Been a Pleasure where he was upfront about what was to come.

He said: “It’s got me and it will get me and it will end me but that’s OK with me.”

Read more: Sir Paul McCartney wants to get COVID vaccine as soon as possible

Sir Billy 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.”

The star was first diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2013 and has not performed a stand-up gig since 2017 because he started to find he couldn’t remember his stories well enough.

He confirmed there would be no more shows, saying: “I’ve done my stand-up. I did it for 50 years. I did it quite well. And it is time to stop.

Sir Billy Connolly poses with his wife Pamela Stephenson, after being knighted by the Duke of Cambridge during an Investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace on October 31, 2017 in  London, United Kingdom. (Photo by John Stillwell - WPA Pool / Getty Images)
Sir Billy Connolly poses with his wife Pamela Stephenson, after being knighted by the Duke of Cambridge during an Investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace on October 31, 2017 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by John Stillwell - WPA Pool / Getty Images)

“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.”

The programme will feature tributes to the Scottish star from famous friends including Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Elton John, and Dustin Hoffman.

Sir Billy, who lives in Florida with his wife Pamela Stephenson, has spoken out before about the effects that his illness have had, and is writing his autobiography.

He also took the opportunity to thank his fans in the documentary, saying: “It’s been a pleasure talking to you all those years.

“You have been magnificent.”

Billy Connolly: It’s Been a Pleasure airs on ITV on Monday 28 December at 9.30pm.

Watch: Sir Billy Connolly - PM is a ‘big, silly toff’