Billy Connolly admits Parkinson’s Disease will ‘end him’ in emotional final TV appearance

Billy Connolly discusses Parkinson’s and cancer diagnoses

Sir Billy Connolly, 78, was honoured with a touching tribute documentary on ITV as he prepares to hang up his comedy coat forever. After his Parkinson’s disease diagnosis back in 2013, he revealed tonight’s program would be his final public performance and openly admitted that the illness would “eventually end him” in an emotional admission.

It’s got me and it will get me and it will end me, but that’s OK with me

Billy Connolly

“It was obvious from my movement, that I wasn’t who I used to be,” the comedy legend said.

“And so I had to explain it… just to say that I am not defined by it.

“It’s got me and it will get me and it will end me, but that’s OK with me.”

Looking back at his hugely successful career, he said: “I started low and I ended high. Just staying up there, until it is time to stop, seems a natural and good thing to do.

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“It is a good thing to be proud of, I wanted to be a funnyman and I got it.”

He addressed the audience: “It’s been a pleasure talking to you all those years. From the beginning when I was a folkie, right through, I couldn’t have done anything without you.

“You have been magnificent.”

Billy also touched on his trauma he suffered at the hands of his abusive father.

He left fans in hysterics during one of his stand-up gigs where he told an infamous joke about being beaten by his dad before he asked if he wanted to be hit some more, to which Billy nodded and said, “Would a kick in the testicles be out of the question?”

“Life is funny if you let it be,” he told of his moto.

“If you let the rotten things in your life be funny, it cures them.”

The actor also confessed that the disease has helped him become more open with asking for help.

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In a recent interview with The Mirror, he spoke about how his dependance on other people used to bother him but he had to learn to put his pride aside.

He said: “It’s taught me to ask for help. That used to bother me but you have to be brave enough to ask.

“If I ask for a hand up out of my chair, people can’t get there fast enough.

“You think it’s a big deal but nobody blinks an eye.

Sir Billy added: “It’s about not being proud, ­being more open.”

The actor noted that often people have “never heard of him”, a statement that’s hard to believe coming from one of the most influential comedy icons of all time.

“It’s not because I’m famous. They’ve often never heard of me,” he explained.

“People are basically very nice, given half a chance. It’s life-affirming. A lovely thing.”

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