One of Britian's best loved comedians is struggling with health issues.
Billy Connolly, 73, is writing letters to his grandchildren to open after his death. He is battling Parkinson's disease and prostate cancer.
Connolly began writing the letters shortly after his grandchildren were born and writes them long-hand using a fountain pen.
In late January he won a Special Recognition award from fans at the National Television Awards 2016. His pal Dustin Hoffman was on hand to give Billy the award. The event was an emotional one for fans and Connolly.
This week the Daily Mail reported spotting Billy in Mayfair with his daughter Scarlett, 27.He told the Daily Mail 'There were things I liked to do, like smoking cigars. I can’t do that any more because it makes me drunk. 'I can’t play the banjo any more because of my left hand. I don’t move as much as I used to because I don’t feel secure in my balance. My way of speaking has changed a bit too.'
This fan would like to share her memories of Billy Connolly
A British poll on the March 31, 2010, revealed that those who participated voted Billy Connolly their all-time favourite comedian.
Over the years I have seen Billy on TV, in films such as Mrs Brown and I was lucky enough to see Billy live at the Hammersmith Odeon, London a few years ago. The theatre visit was a treat for Hubby for his birthday but it was I who nearly died laughing.
Billy Connolly first came onto my comedy radar back in the early 1970s. At that time The Big Yin as he was fondly known was just becoming popular in England. He already had a fair following in Scotland but was about to hit the big time nationally and then globally.
My first encounter of this comedian was listening to LPs, long playing records, borrowed from a friend. The humour showed a raw talent but I was not an instant fan and struggled at times to see what was so funny.
The problem initially was that many English people struggled to understand what Bill was actually saying due to his broad Scottish accent. But it was not just his broad Scottish accent and more often than not it was his huge sense of humour. He would begin to laugh so loud at what he was saying that his words soon became incomprehensible.
But it did not take long to fall for the comedy of Connolly.
The man simply has funny-bones.
On chat shows he was and still is witty, retains a boyish charm, seems unable to offend no matter how rude he is and is thoroughly entertaining.
His early work incorporated songs and Bill usually accompanied himself on guitar or banjo. There would be a few serious songs and many funny ones. In time the singing became less.
[Bill did release a few funny singles which actually made the charts. He said that once he heard certain songs he could not keep his hands of them. D.I.V.O.R.CE. was one such song.]
Despite his ever increasing years Billy remains a rebel of sorts; as a friend of mine would say, a rebel without a clue.
He has kept his slightly wacky hair and unusual dress style; his funny slant on life always brings humour to any appearances. He does not get up and tell jokes but rather humorously talks you through life.
Billy is a well-known personality around the world these days and his humour seems to travel well, despite his accent. Perhaps it is because much of the humour is silly, childish, naughty but oh so funny that he gets away with it.
He has developed over the years and his style has changed a little but on the whole he continues telling funny stories based on real-life.
As we all know life can be a bitch but, when you really start to think about it, it is often also funny.
Billy appeared on Michael Parkinson's chat show some years ago, when American actress Angie Dickinson was also appearing; she found it hard to compose herself. At the time Billy was a young, hairy man full of fun. His quip about something being as welcome as a fart in a spacesuit completely floored Miss Dickinson. It was quite some time before she stopped laughing and was able to speak. Seeing this phrase written down it is not that funny but it is Billy's delivery which works every time.
There are few comedians who swear like troopers but still manage to entertain me but for some reason the Big Yin can be as disgusting as possible and still make me laugh.
These days he is a respected actor, writer, comedian, entertainer and all round celebrity; remember though he is still a naughty boy so do not book to see him play live if you are easily offended.
A few classic but irreverent Connolly quotes:-