Billy Connolly Gives Update On His Parkinson’s Prognosis

by : Niamh Shackleton on : 24 Aug 2021 12:55
Billy Connolly Gives Update On His Parkinson's PrognosisPA Images

Actor and comedian Billy Connolly has provided fans with an update on how he is dealing with the challenges posed by his Parkinson’s Disease diagnosis.

Connolly was diagnosed with the debilitating condition in 2013, but didn’t properly retire from live performances and comedy until last year.


The 78-year-old has always been extremely candid about the disease, and has often made light of the difficult situation he’s in. At his most recent comedy tour, he’d often greet the crowd with, ‘Good evening, symptom spotters.’

Billy Connolly (PA)PA

While Connolly appears to remain in good spirits, he’s recently discussed the hardships that come with having Parkinson’s, and revealed that things are getting harder.

Speaking to his wife, Dr Pamela Stephenson Connolly, who interviewed him while he received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Edinburgh TV festival, the Brave actor said, ‘I hardly prepare [when approaching Parkinson’s]. I turn up unprepared and everything’s a new challenge.’


Connolly continued:

The challenges lately have been medical. They’re getting worse. You’ll notice I’ve been holding my left hand – it’s starting to jump around. I have to weigh it up and see how bad it gets.

While he said he was ‘proud and happy’ to be receiving the award, he joked that it makes him feel like he ‘should be dead’.

Billy Connolly (PA)PA Images

He said, as per The Guardian, ‘These ‘lifetime’ things – I feel like they know something I don’t.’

During the interview, Connolly also recalled returning to Glasgow after appearing as a guest on Michael Parkinson’s TV chat show in 1975, and the instant popularity that followed.

‘It’s a thing the Scots have got about accents. You can be as popular as you like but if you don’t have a Scottish accent when you’re doing it, it’s different,’ he said.

‘They loved the fact I went on with my Scottish accent and got famous. They took it personally and they all applauded and it was lovely.’


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Niamh Shackleton

Niamh Shackleton is a pint sized person and journalist at UNILAD. After studying Multimedia Journalism at the University of Salford, she did a year at Caters News Agency as a features writer in Birmingham before deciding that Manchester is (arguably) one of the best places in the world, and therefore moved back up north. She's also UNILAD's unofficial crazy animal lady.

Topics: Celebrity, Comedian, Film and TV, Health, Now, Parkinson's Disease


The Guardian
  1. The Guardian

    Billy Connolly says challenges of Parkinson’s are getting worse