Sir Billy Connolly has claimed he’s somewhat at peace with death as he quit comedy for good amid his ongoing battle with Parkinson’s disease.
The 78-year-old opened up about his struggles and decision to retire as he appeared in a touching ITV documentary which paid tribute to his 50-year long career in the spotlight. Airing on Monday night across the United Kingdom, the documentary titled Billy Connolly: It’s Been a Pleasure, brought tears to many people’s eyes as they listened to the heartfelt words of Connolly and those of his friends and family who admire him so greatly.
“I have done my stand-up. I did it for 50 years. I did it quite well. And it is time to stop,” Connolly said in the documentary, 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 comedian 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.
Since the documentary aired in the UK, social media has been bombarded with words of love and support of Connolly and sadness that the Parkinson’s has forced him into retirement. But, mostly fans are grateful to have laughed with Connolly and witnessed his greatness throughout their lives.
“God #BillyConnolly was, and still is, absolutely bloody brilliant,”@WelshGasDoc wrote on Twitter. “I hope he has a long and happy retirement, and the absolute s****er that is Parkinson’s disease doesn’t affect him too much.”
While @catrinnewman said: “#BillyConnolly is one of those rare beautiful souls that I wish could live forever”. And @MissDomergue added: “If you don’t laugh at Billy Connolly there is no hope for you! Finniest man to ever grace us with his presence.”
But, it’s not all sadness for Connolly as he farewells his career, with his wife Pamela Stephens claiming in the documentary that the comedian has developed other passions over the years, including his “incredible” drawing abilities.
“What he wants to do is take it easy, he wants to fish on his dock in Florida and enjoy the sunshine, watch television and drink tea and eat biscuits, that’s what he wants to do.” she said, according to The Daily Mail.