Billy Connolly’s comedy encore: A mysterious new project sparks excitement

Feb 04, 2024
"It’ll be nice if it happens, it’ll be great if it happens." Source: Getty Images.

In the world of comedy, few names command as much respect and adoration as the legendary Billy Connolly.

The 81-year-old stand-up icon has been a beacon of laughter for decades, and now, a tantalising new project may be on the horizon, promising to add another chapter to Connolly’s illustrious career.

Director Mike Reilly, who has been collaborating with the iconic comedian since 2011 and recently directed the latest season of Billy Connolly Does… shared insights into the upcoming season before teasing a mysterious new project that could be in the works with Connolly.

“I’ve been asked about doing something else with him, which we’re in conversations about that. But I’m not allowed to say what it is. But it’ll be nice if it happens, it’ll be great if it happens,” he told Metro.

“I always think we’ve said goodbye on so many occasions, thinking, ‘I think we’ve done it now’. A year later, someone will phone up and say, ‘Could you do this?’

“For me obviously it’s an absolute pleasure. I love going to see him, so it’s been brilliant.”

After teasing fans with the exciting prospect of a potential new project with Connolly, Reilly showered the iconic comedian with praise, emphasising Connolly’s unparalleled ability to bring unbridled joy into homes worldwide.

“There’s very few people that can bring joy into your home, because his humour is never mean, and it’s never pointed. He’s never short of an opinion, don’t get me wrong, but he’s never mean, he never punches down. That joy for life and a life lived,” Reilly said.

“Despite the Parkinson’s and everything else like that, he’s still a force of nature. I was saying to somebody recently, five minutes in Billy’s company is like four hours in somebody else’s. Because it’s a life force that other people don’t have and it’s a way of thinking and it’s a way of looking at the world.

“So it’s a privilege – but joy is the main thing I would hope people take away from it. That’s what he’s given me.”

In addition to leaving audiences around the world in stitches with his comedy, Connolly is also an avid artist. He recently opened up about how art has become a lifeline in his battle against Parkinson’s disease.

In a candid interview with The Times, the 80-year-old comedy legend shared how embracing his creative side has not only brought joy to his days but has also played a crucial role in coping with the challenges posed by the progressive neurodegenerative disorder.

“Art has made my life magical at a time when I thought it would be unbearable. My disease creeps up on me — every day it gets stranger and more different,” he revealed.

“I don’t know how I would have coped without drawing. It’s taken me out of the scene and put me somewhere else, where I can survey it from a different angle.”

Connolly subsequently provided insights into the evolving nature of his condition. During this discussion, he expressed immense pride in his children for their remarkable resilience in navigating the challenges associated with the disease.

“The cold affects me, it makes the streets slippery and I end up on my arse. which is rather boring. The symptoms are so obvious now,” he told the publication.

“The way I walk, the way I talk, the way I do everything — the way I shake — it’s impossible to hide.

“But they’re so used to it now. They’re all great spirits. It’s one thing I’m immensely proud of, the spirits of my children.”



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