Sir Billy Connolly makes a rare public appearance to show off his new artwork

Richard Bevan
Richard Bevan
4 Min Read

Scotland’s laughter legend, Sir Billy Connolly, recently unveiled his pivot from comedy to canvas with the introduction of four new artworks. The 80-year-old comedian, affectionately termed “The Big Yin”, surprised fans with his creations, offering a rare public spectacle of his artistic flair.

Through the esteemed gallery, Castle Fine Art, Connolly brought forth four distinct pieces as a part of his ‘Born on a Rainy Day’ art series. Prospective buyers can acquire these unique pieces for £1,250 each. For avid Connolly followers, the option exists to purchase the entire collection, framed at £4,500 or £3,300 unframed.

The Big Yin’s Pontius Tries Pilates piece on the left and One Armed Juggler on the right

The titled pieces include ‘Pontius Tries Pilates’, ‘One Armed Juggler’, ‘Nightmare’, and ‘Drunk Donkey’, each bearing a story and the whimsical nature Connolly is celebrated.

With his signature chuckle, Connolly shared the amusing story behind ‘Pontius Tries Pilates’. The idea sparked when his wife began her Pilates sessions. “I said it would be funny to call it Pontius Pilates, but then I worried it might offend. So, after a bit of a play, we landed on ‘Pontius Tries Pilates’,” remarked Connolly. He playfully added, “He’s just a guy trying at the gym. I don’t quite get gym culture, but he does, and he’s good at it.”

Speaking about ‘One Armed Juggler’, Connolly revealed, “He signifies that many figures in my works are indulged in trivial pursuits. Just doing things, thinking they’ll benefit. I’ve been there. When I see men in their 60s jogging, I think, ‘Why not just relax with a beer and some telly?’ But my characters, they’re trying to fit in.”

This one is known as ‘Nightmare’

Inspired by his own erratic dreams, ‘Nightmare’ captures the essence of Sir Billy’s nocturnal escapades. Despite not remembering them, he confessed to shouting, singing, and even directing a play in his dreams.

A reminiscent trip down memory lane inspired ‘Drunk Donkey’. Once an owner of two donkeys in Scotland, Connolly compared them to friendly canines. “They’d often escape, dash to the village, and the villagers would kindly return them. Donkeys always seem and act tipsy. This one particularly looks like he’s had his fair share of pints!”

During a tour in Canada, Connolly, previously inexperienced, began drawing. Initially creating peculiar islands, he asked for his wife’s opinion. With her encouragement and the positive response from Castle Fine Art, Connolly began earnestly crafting artworks. “The fact that others enjoy and want my creations in their homes is astonishing. I used to think only my wife cherished fragments of my mind, but I stand corrected.”

This rare public glimpse is especially significant. Sir Billy Connolly, knighted in 2017 for his dedication to entertainment and charity, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2013. The ailment led to his retirement from live performances in 2018, but he remains active in TV engagements. Despite the challenges Parkinson’s posed on his beloved activities, Connolly remains a beacon of resilience.

Billy Connolly’s Drunken Donkey artwork

For those eager to experience Sir Billy’s artistry, the collection is available for viewing at

Are you keen on adding a Connolly original to your collection? Let us know in the comments below!

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