TV & Movies

Billy Connolly opens up on painful Parkinsons and says its taking a lot of him

Sir Billy Connolly has opened up about the devastating symptoms he has faced after being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.

The comedian, 79, spoke on his new documentary Billy Connolly: My Absolute Pleasure that he "just deals with it" as he faces new side effects.

He said: "Parkinson’s Disease has taken a lot from me. I can’t play the banjo anymore. It’s just a noise. I can’t yodel anymore. I can’t smoke cigars.

"It’s taken more and more of what I like – it’s kind of painful.

"But you have to have a Glasgow attitude and say, 'Oh, you think you’ve got me beat, try this for size.' I just deal with it. If I fall, I fall."

Sir Billy also spoke about his thoughts about dying, adding: "I think about death a lot, not in an excessive way, but every day.

"I’ve seen people die and it’s ok. It’s not painful. You just go away and it’s gone. You exhale. It’s nothing to be frightened of. It’s just the next step.

"It’s better to be bright and optimistic and have a laugh. You pass this way but once. I sound like an end-of-the-pier preacher, but be thoughtful and kind and it’ll come back to you.

"There’s only love. That’s all there is."

The comedian now lives in Florida with his wife Pamela after shooting to fame in the comedy circuit and appearing in hit films.

He also previously opened up on the time he nearly killed legendary actor Michael Caine , writing about the incident in his autobiography Windswept.

He wrote about when he Sir Michael were filming together in St Lucia when their bus nearly slipped off a cliff after they had a boozy dinner out.

Sir Billy had decided to cover the driver's eyes up and Sir Michael has to intervene to prevent the bus going off the side of the road.

The brush with death prompted the comedian to give up drinking again.

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