Inside Billy Connollys health battle after he shared its getting worse

Inside Billy Connollys health battle after he shared its getting worse

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Comedy legend Billy Connolly, who today celebrates his 79th birthday, has been making us all laugh for more than 50 years.

Although the star retired from touring in 2018, he has continued to appear on our screens and has also spoken candidly about his health in recent years.

Billy was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 2013, and since his diagnosis, he has spoken openly about living with the disease in television interviews, telling The Guardian "It can be a very cruel disease."

When asked on BBC's The One Show, what is it like living with Parkinson's, he said: "It has its moments.

"It's like just now, my left hand is shaking. I used to be able to stop it by staring at it, but it doesn't work so much anymore. It's not a frightened of me as what it used to be."

However, during the BBC documentary Made in Scotland, viewers became worried about the star's health after he said: "My life, it’s slipping away and I can feel it and I should.

"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."

However, Billy made it clear following the documentary that he was not close to death, and posted a video online to address viewers' worries.

In the video he could be seen playing his iconic banjo, saying: "Not dying, not dead, not slipping away. Sorry if I depressed you. Maybe I should have phrased it better."

Following his diagnosis, Billy continued to perform onstage for another five years until his retirement in 2018.

He has since made documentaries including Billy Connolly: It's been a pleasure, which featured clips of his work and his final stage tour, as well as discussing his life living with Parkinson's disease.

The star made his name as a stand-up comic and has appeared on television shows including Parkinson's and the legendary An Audience with Billy Connolly on ITV in 1986.

He has also starred in numerous box office films including Muppet Treasure Island, Still Crazy and What we did on our holiday with David Tennant.

Since retiring, he continues to write and make documentaries, as well as painting at his home in Florida, which he shares with his wife Dr Pamela Stephenson Connolly.

The couple have been married since 1989 and they have three children together.

He was previously married to Iris Pressagh from 1969-1985, with who he had two children.

Earlier this year, he spoke about his health in an interview with his wife Dr Pamela Stephenson Connolly from their Florida home.

The interview was broadcast as part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where Billy was given a Lifetime Achievement Award.

An upbeat Billy spoke openly to the camera and gave an update on his health, saying: "Well, the challenges lately have been medical, aye, they're getting worse."

He said to his wife, "Have you noticed I've been holding my left hand as we have been going on, it is starting to jump around?

"It happens when I least expect it. I'll be talking to you and I think 'ah my hand is shaking' and I will grab it. But it is not much of a problem."

Speaking about living with Parkinson's, he added: "So I will have to weigh it up and see how bad it gets, I don't know, we will play it by ear."

He has also added that he isn't afraid of death, and when asked if he instead resented death and missing the funny anecdotes about his life that will take place without him, he told The Guardian: "it hasn’t happened yet. So how can I have been cheated?

"And who knows? It might be so lovely on the other side that you don’t ever think about that.”

  • Billy Connolly

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