Billy Connolly gets all-clear in cancer scare


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The Independent Online

The actor and comedian Billy Connolly has been given the all-clear from prostate cancer.

The 70-year-old comic broke the news live on television today during a discussion about Celtic’s Champions League clash with Barcelona. He told Sky Sports News: “I got the clearance on Wednesday on my cancer so I’m okay.”

Mr Connolly, who began working as a welder in the Glasgow shipyards but quit in the late 1960s to become a folk singer before turning to stand-up, was diagnosed with early-stage prostate cancer and had minor surgery in the US.

Also, Mr Connolly’s spokeswoman said he “has been assessed as having the initial symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, for which he is receiving the appropriate treatment” but will continue to perform on stage and screen.

The comedian has had a career in television and film, performing sell-out stand-up shows around the world, presenting a series of documentaries and becoming an in-demand character actor, starring alongside Judi Dench in Mrs Brown and playing a dwarf warrior in The Hobbit movie.

Mr Connolly admitted earlier this year that he was beginning to forget his lines during his performances. Speaking about the problem, he said: “This is f*****g terrifying. I feel like I’m going out of my mind.”

He is married to New Zealand-born actress and psychologist Pamela Stephenson, whose biography of her husband, simply called Billy, was a huge bestseller.

In an interview with the BBC earlier this year, Connolly said he wanted to stay young at heart: “Stay young? Me? I’m 37! I haven’t changed my attitude to things since I was 37.”