Celebrities

Billy Connolly spooked by ghostly encounter at the theatre He was a dapper wee guy!

Billy Connolly says his hand is shaky during interview

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Billy Connolly has claimed a ghostly encounter led to an embarrassing moment for him, as the apparition had told him to take to the stage much too early – and when he arrived, the audience members were still searching for their seats. “There was a man sitting at a desk right beside the stage,” he recalled.

I’m not a believer but I find ghost shows riveting

Billy Connolly

“He was a dapper wee guy, with short hair and a moustache.

“I said, ‘How are you doing?’ He said, ‘Fine. I don’t always come in’.”

However, when he went backstage again, the 78-year-old discovered that the apparition had completely vanished.

A confused Connolly enquired about his disappearance, only to be told by staff, “‘Oh, he doesn’t actually exist, he’s just one of the Gaiety Theatre ghosts.'”

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However, there could be a rational explanation for the creepy encounter.

Sadly, Sir Billy suffers from Parkinson’s disease, which causes up to half of patients to experience hallucinations and even “visitations” from guardian angels.

This can be the result of chemical changes in the brain, or simply a reaction to the medication sufferers are required to take.

Connolly confessed that in general, he doesn’t actually believe ghosts are real, explaining, “I’m not a believer but I find ghost hunter shows riveting.”

Despite previous disappointments, the retired comedian says he lives in hope of being proven wrong. 

Although he continues to make TV shows, albeit at a slower pace, he has accepted that the challenges of his conditions are “getting worse”.

When he accepted a Lifetime Achievement Award earlier in the year, he was forced to hold his left hand to calm the involuntary shakes.

However, he is still participating in public life as much as possible, and released a full-length autobiography last month to reveal insights into his life, which, much like the book’s title, has indeed been “windswept and interesting”.

The book tells of everything from the violent and sadistic nuns at his school who would “smash [pupils’] noses into desks” to physical aggression from an aunt, which he claims was so bad that he fantasised about drowning himself in the river Clyde.

Once, he even trudged 12 miles in the opposite direction after school to avoid the inevitability of having to go home.


Although he felt that school, music, and the church had all failed him, he soon developed a talent for comedy and playing the banjo, which helped him forget his pain.

Since then, he has excelled at being a comic, a musician, a producer, and a TV personality – and fans will love the tales in his frank and honest autobiography.

He has enjoyed an eventful life with both intense highs and devastating lows alike.

Windswept and Interesting is out now, published by Two Roads and priced at £12.50 on Amazon for a hardback copy.

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