Billy Connolly opens up on ‘Radical’ changes and discusses his preparation for death in candid interview

Richard Bevan
Richard Bevan
4 Min Read

In an emotionally charged and candid interview, Sir Billy Connolly has revealed the profound impact Parkinson’s disease has had on his life. The 80-year-old icon disclosed that his life had changed “radically” since the diagnosis a decade ago. In an honest interview, he sheds light on the daily struggles and triumphs in his ongoing battle with the illness.

Connolly, diagnosed on the same day he received news about prostate cancer, has faced the challenges with characteristic humour and resilience. In an interview with BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, he painted a vivid picture of the adjustments he’s had to make, saying, “My life has changed radically since the diagnosis of Parkinson’s.”

Billy Connolly opened up in candid BBC Radio interview
Billy Connolly opened up in a fascinating BBC radio interview

The comedian’s wife has become an integral part of his daily routine, taking on the role of dressing him each morning. In a disarmingly honest reflection, Connolly remarked, “It’s not very manly. Your mum puts your clothes on.”

Connolly Opens Up On Parkinson’s

Parkinson’s, a neurodegenerative disorder, has brought challenges that extend beyond physical limitations. Connolly shared, “I’m clumsy and I lose my balance. I’m out of balance a lot and I fall. I’m fed up with it. I think I have a good attitude to it. I say to the disease ‘I’ll give you a break if you give me a break’. We’re nice to each other.”

Inevitably, the toll on memory is another aspect Connolly bravely addressed. He recounted a moment of forgetfulness, stating, “My memory is short. I forgot the name of one of my dogs, which is really awkward when you’re shouting to it in the street. You have to say ‘Hey doggy doggy’, which is terrible. I felt embarrassed for the dog. You could tell it knew.”

Despite the physical and mental challenges, Connolly remains resolute in his fight against the disease. He shared a unique coping mechanism, saying, “I shake a bit. I don’t shake every day, all the time. But for about an hour or two I’ll shake and when I’m drawing it spoils it. Then I conquered it. I draw with shakes in it and it works.”

The interview offers a poignant look into Connolly’s mindset, portraying him as someone who faces adversity with humour and a remarkable spirit. His attitude towards conquering not just the physical symptoms but also the complex battle against depression serves as an inspiring message to others facing similar struggles.

The Big Yin Is Facing Adversity With Humour

Sir Billy Connolly’s openness about his vulnerabilities is a refreshing departure from the norm. As he confronts the realities of Parkinson’s, his words resonate with authenticity, reminding us all of the shared human experience of facing life-altering challenges.

Billy’s love of dogs has seen him adopt several over the years

In the words of Sir Billy Connolly himself, “I think most things can be conquered and especially the depression. Depression is such a complex affair, but you have to conquer it, take it on face-to-face and refuse to be part of it. I’ve always been easily made laugh. I am a lucky man with my sense of humour. I can laugh myself out of most things.”

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