‘Getting worse’: Billy Connolly shares update on Parkinson’s disease

Aug 25, 2021
Billy Connolly was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 2013. Source: YouTube/STV News

Scottish comedian Sir Billy Connolly has given fans an update on his Parkinson’s battle, saying it’s “getting worse”.

The comedian was speaking during a session at the Edinburgh TV Festival, which was honouring the 78-year-old with a lifetime achievement award for his contribution to the industry, when he made the confronting comments. Billy, who was diagnosed with the disease in 2013 and retired from standup comedy last year as a result, said filming for television is getting a lot harder.

Speaking remotely from his Florida home, Billy said he was approaching the condition in the same way he always approached filming. “I hardly prepare,” he said, The Guardian reports. “I turn up unprepared and everything’s a new challenge.”

Billy continued: “The challenges lately have been medical. They’re getting worse. You’ll notice I’ve been holding my left hand — it’s starting to jump around. I have to weigh it up and see how bad it gets.”

Billy’s new comments come about eight months after he opened up about his condition and decision to retire. The comedian appeared in a touching ITV documentary titled Billy Connolly: It’s Been a Pleasure which paid tribute to his 50-year long career in the spotlight.

“I have done my stand-up. I did it for 50 years. I did it quite well. And it is time to stop,” Billy said in the documentary at the time, according to The Mirror. “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 78-year-old continued by saying how much he loves to make people laugh but sadly the disease has made things far too difficult to continue working, adding: “I’ve done 50 years and that’s plenty. Quitting is the right thing to do.”

But, perhaps one of the most touching moments of the evening was when the Scottish comedian emotionally admitted that Parkinson’s will eventually lead to his “end”, and that he’s accepted this.

“It’s got me, it will get me and it will end me, but that’s okay with me,” Connolly said, according to The Daily Mail.

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