Everyday gets a little stranger, says Sir Billy Connolly as Parkinsons worsens
The Scottish star also attacked political correctness on the comedy circuit, accusing some performers of being “social workers”.
The comic, 80, was diagnosed 10 years ago with Parkinson’s and announced his retirement from live performances in 2018. He has become a keen artist after taking up drawing while in Canada in 2007.
Sir Billy said: “Art has made my life magical at a time when I thought it would be unbearable. My disease creeps up on me. Every day it gets stranger and more different. I don’t know how I would have coped without drawing.
“It’s taken me out of the scene and put me somewhere else where I can survey it from a different angle.”
Affectionately known as The Big Yin – Scots for The Big One – 6ft tall Sir Billy told The Times he wanted to be remembered as “a good laugh and being a force for good”. But the former shipyard welder said the world of comedy had changed. “I don’t like the politically correct world and I’m fed up with comedians who are social workers telling us what we can and can’t talk about. It’s an irritating and dangerous thing to take people’s freedom away,” he said.
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Last week, father-of-five Sir Billy unveiled his latest sculptures, made of polished stainless steel and inspired by travel and his love of music.
The Glaswegian is now based in Key West, Florida, where the warm, humid climate helps him cope with Parkinson’s.
He has just published the third volume of his memoirs, Ramblng Man, which has made the best-sellers list.
He said: “That’s a wonderful thing – to be on the bookshelf with great writers.
“I just bought a Bible and I’ve been reading it. It’s OK, but it’ll never catch on.”
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