Billy Connolly announces his retirement from live performances

'I’ve had 50 years as a professional, that’ll do me'

Jack Shepherd
Monday 03 December 2018 13:12
Sir Billy Connolly knighted at Buckingham Palace in 2017

Billy Connolly has announced his retirement from the stand-up circuit.

The comedian – who has sporadically toured for half a century – revealed the news during an interview with Radio Times, saying: “I won’t ever tour again.”

“It’s the rigmarole of getting around,” he continued. “I’ve had 50 years as a professional, that’ll do me. I kind of miss it, but I get enough chances to talk to people and be funny.”

During the same interview, Connolly rebutted claims made by Michael Parkinson that Parkinson’s disease had “dulled” his brain.

“He thought I’d lost track, mentally, but I never remember what year anything was,” Connolly said. “I haven’t a clue... These Yorkshiremen, I don’t think they apologise much. I wasn’t disappointed, it just made my life a bit difficult. People feeling sorry for me, I don’t like that.”

The 76-year-old revealed that he has stopped using medicinal cannabis to treat the disease: “I just got bomb happy. Just stoned. It was quite pleasant, but I don’t want to do that every day,”

Connolly has moved to Florida and says his wife acts as his, Pamela Stephenson Connolly, acts as his nurse. The Glaswegian also spoke about politics, likening Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler, saying the US President uses “Hitlerian lie-telling”.

“His rise is part of an international thing,” Connolly said. “It’s happening everywhere. I think it’s called fascism. They can call it white nationalism if they like, or alt-right, but it’s that Hitlerian lie-telling.

“Mocking the press, saying they’re the enemy of the people. It’s kind of frightening. Let’s wait until his time’s up. It will happen. Let’s just hope there isn’t a world war before that.”

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