Billy Connolly says his life is 'slipping away' as he battles Parkinson's but 'death doesn't frighten me'

'I'm near the end. I'm a damn sight nearer the end than I am the beginning'

Jack Shepherd
Thursday 03 January 2019 09:54
Trailer for Billy Connolly: Made in Scotland

Sir Billy Connolly has spoken candidly about death and living with Parkinson's disease.

The 76-year-old was diagnosed with the degenerative neurological condition in 2013 and announced his retirement from touring last month.

Appearing on the BBC documentary series Made in Scotland, which sees Connolly reflect on his life and career, the revered comedian says, according to The Mirror: "My life, it's slipping away and I can feel it and I should.

"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.

"As bits slip off and leave me, talents leave and attributes leave. I don't have the balance I used to have, I don't have the energy I used to have. I can't hear the way I used to hear, I can't see as good as I used to. I can't remember the way I used to remember.

"And they all came one at a time and they just slipped away, thank you. It is like somebody is in charge of you and they are saying 'right, I added all these bits when you were a youth, now it is time to subtract'."

Glasgow-born Connolly, nicknamed The Big Yin, was a welder in his home city before becoming a globally renowned comedian. He is known for his energetic performing style but said Parkinson's prevented him from moving around the stage like he did at his peak.

Speaking about Parkinson's on the BBC programme, he says: "It takes a certain calm to deal with, and I sometimes don't have it. I sometimes get angry with it, but that doesn't last long, I just collapse in laughter."

Billy Connolly: Made in Scotland will air on BBC2 at 9pm on Friday, 4 January.

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