BILLY Connolly is a Scottish national treasure who has been bringing a smile to people’s faces for over 50 years thanks to his sharp tongue and comic genius.
Here’s everything you need to know about the star and his health battles…
What has Billy Connolly said about his Parkinson’s disease?
In his two-part BBC documentary Made in Scotland, Billy, who has Parkinson’s disease, has said that his life is “slipping away” and that he may have already filmed his last major TV appearance.
The funnyman, 76, was dealt a devastating blow when he was diagnosed with both prostate cancer and Parkinson’s at the same time.
In a clip filmed last year, Billy said: “There is no denying it, I am 75, I have got Parkinson’s and I am at the wrong end of the telescope of life. I am at the point where the yesteryears mean more than the yesterdays.
“Because it is back there in my childhood and youth when I go to all those things that made me that live keenest in my memory now.”
Later in the documentary he adds: “My life, it’s slipping away and I can feel it and I should. I’m 75, I’m near the end. 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.”
When did Billy Conolly have cancer?
Billy was diagnosed in 2013 with prostate cancer and underwent an operation on his prostate in America.
Speaking to the Guardian, about when he first received his cancer diagnosis, Billy said: “”When [the doctor] said ‘First of all, you’re not gonna die,’ I was shocked. I said, ‘Of course I’m not going to fucking die.’ It never crossed my mind. It was all very businesslike.”
Fortunately, the procedure the comedian underwent in the States was a success and he was given the all-clear later that same year.
What is the Great American Trail about?
On July 18, 2019, The Sun exclusively revealed that the comedian would be returning to our screens.
The American Trail is a three-part series which sees Billy follow the route Scottish immigrants took after they first landed in America in the early 18th Century.
Throughout the series he will chat to experts and descendants of immigrants along the way.
A show insider said: “Billy admitted earlier this year that Parkinson’s was taking its toll and he could no longer cope with live performances.
“But after ITV producers offered him a new adventure in the US, where he has spent half his life living, he decided it was too good to miss.
“He’s been secretly working on the project and filmed footage for the show in March and June. It’s going to be welcome news for his fans who thought he was going to be retiring for good.”
The first episode of Great American Trail will air TONIGHT (September 5, 2019) on ITV at 9pm.
Is Billy Connolly married? Does he have children?
Billy has been married to his second wife, comedian and psychologist Pamela Stephenson, since 1989.
He has five children in total.
Jamie and Cara, from his first marriage, to Iris Pressagh, and Scarlett, Amy and Daisy, with Pamela.
Billy and Pamela won custody of Jamie and Cara in 1983.
What is Billy Connolly’s backstory?
William “Billy” Connolly, CBE was born on 24 November 1942 and is a Scottish comedian, musician and actor.
He is sometimes known, especially in his native Scotland, by the nickname The Big Yin, meaning The Big One.
His first trade, in the early 1960s, was as a welder in the Glasgow shipyards, but he gave it up towards the end of the decade to pursue a career as a folk singer, firstly in the Humblebums alongside friend Gerry Rafferty until 1971, and subsequently as a solo artist.
In the early 1970s he made the transition from folk-singer with a comedic persona to fully fledged comedian and actor.
In October 2017 he received a knighthood from Prince William at Buckingham Palace.
In 2018 he returned to TV with the travelogue series Billy Connolly’s Ultimate World Tour on ITV – a show which sees him travel through his home state of Florida while recounting tales of past journeys.
What films has Billy Connolly starred in?
Since the 80s Billy has carved a career for himself as an actor.
He has appeared in such films including Indecent Proposal (1993), Pocahontas (1995), Muppet Treasure Island (1996), The Last Samurai (2003), Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events
(2004), Brave (2012), Quartet (2012) and The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014)
The last film he starred in was the 2016 American comedy Wild Oats alongside Demi Moore and Shirley MacLaine.
What are the Billy Connolly Glasgow murals?
The three portraits became giant murals – each of which are more than 50ft high – and were painted on to the sides of buildings in his native Glasgow.
When he saw them Billy said: “I’m truly amazed at the effect these have had on me. They’ve just completely stunned me.
“I thought I’d be all light-hearted on seeing them and jokey – but they’re so big – the effect on me is so profound.
“You know, people going to that length for me, it’s just taken my breath away.
“I’m just flabbergasted, overjoyed, it’s been a brilliant experience – being painted and otherwise by these genius people taking the time to do it. It just takes my breath away, I love it.”
LATEST ON BILLY CONNOLLY
What stand-up comedy has Billy Connolly done?
Billy is best known as a stand-up comedian.
His observational comedy is “idiosyncratic” and often “off-the-cuff”.
Over the years he has offended some audiences, critics and the media with his free use of the word “f***” and his choice of topics
In 2007 and again in 2010, he was voted the greatest stand-up comic on Channel 4’s 100 Greatest Stand-Ups.