Billy Connolly quits stand-up comedy due to Parkinson’s in farewell documentary: ‘I’ve done 50 years and that’s plenty’

Billy Connolly quits stand-up comedy due to Parkinson’s in farewell documentary: ‘I’ve done 50 years and that’s plenty’

Billy Connolly quits stand-up comedy due to Parkinson’s in farewell documentary: ‘I’ve done 50 years and that’s plenty’

Billy Connolly quits stand-up comedy due to Parkinson’s in farewell documentary: ‘I’ve done 50 years and that’s plenty’

Sir Billy Connolly will mark the end of his stand-up comedy career with a TV special, airing on Monday 28 December.

The Scottish comedian, actor, musician and artist, 78, will star in the uplifting and emotional special that will be broadcast on ITV.

“Since the Parkinson’s [diagnosis] I’m still the same in many ways, but I don’t think as sharply as I need to to be a stand-up,” he told The Mirror.

“I’ve done 50 years and that’s plenty. Quitting is the right thing to do. I achieved everything I wanted, played everywhere I wanted to… I did it all.”

He said he wouldn’t miss the “panic” he felt before going on stage, which in recent years has meant he required time to meditate before a show.

However, Connolly said his nerves, which he compared to “walking the plank”, always disappeared once he was in front of an audience, and he preferred live shows to TV appearances.

The one-off special, titled Billy Connolly: It’s Been a Pleasure, will feature his greatest stand-up moments, interviews with celebrity fans, and previously unseen performance footage.

Among the celebrity guests are Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Elton John, Dustin Hoffman, Sheridan Smith, Sir Lenny Henry and Whoopi Goldberg.

It will also show insights from Connolly’s “wife and soulmate”, writer Pamela Stephenson.

ITV said in a statement: “Sir Billy Connolly recently announced that he was officially stepping back from live stand-up performance.

“To mark this major moment in comedy history, this star-studded one-hour special celebrates Billy’s anarchic genius and life-affirming brand of humour.”

The broadcaster added: “His A-list fans will share their memories of Billy, send him personal messages and pick their all-time highlights from his glorious comedy catalogue. The man himself will react to their choices and reveal his own favourites.”

Connolly is currently living in Florida with his wife, and writing his autobiography.

Billy Connolly: It’s Been a Pleasure airs on ITV on Monday 28 December at 9.30pm.


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