Sir Billy Connolly has given an update on his battle against Parkinson’s disease - branding it a “cruel” condition, but he has found some positive aspects of his health battle.
The 80-year-old comedian revealed in 2013 the he had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s - a degenerative disease which affects the brain and slowly damages it over time. Symptoms and side-effects of the disease include forgetfulness and uncontrollable shaking as nerve cells are impaired and destroyed.
Sir Billy has been an open book about his health battle over the past 10 years and has given fresh insight into how the disease has affected him on a day to day basis. The Guardian reports that Sir Billy has been struggling with his balance, leading to falls while he has been up and about.
They quote the star saying: “Recently I’ve noticed a deterioration in my balance. That was never such a problem before, but in the last year that has come and it has stayed. For some reason, I thought it would go away, because a lot of symptoms have come and gone away... just to defy the symptom spotters. The shaking has reappeared.”
Image:NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Image:AFP via Getty Images)
While suffering a serious fall in old age would be cause for concern, the comedy legend has found an amusing side to his situation, explain gin: “It’s funny, that fall I had when I landed on my jaw reminded me of a thing I used to do on stage. I used to say, ‘I fell out of bed, but luckily my face broke my fall’.”
Addressing the wider impact of the disease, Sir Billy said he has been delighted by the fact that people “seem to drive me places” - while the condition has also had a positive effect on his artwork. The star, who retired from stand up in 2018, has turned to making art. He says tremors have helped him create more enticing pieces, regarding the involuntary movements as “little gifts” that have made his work look “nice”.
However, he also admitted: “It’s creeping up behind me and stopping me doing things. It’s a cruel disease.”
Back in 2020, Sir Billy explained the he had come to terms with his diagnosis but was happy to embrace whatever time he has left in life. He said during the emotional documentary It's Been a Pleasure: "It's got me, it will get me and it will end me, but that's okay with me. I am not defined by it."
Sir Billy’s wife, Pamela Stevenson - who he has been married to since 1989 - added: "What he wants to do is take it easy, he wants to fish on his dock in Florida, and enjoy the sunshine, watch television and drink tea and eat biscuits, that's what he wants to do."