Billy Connolly tells fans 'Parkinsons will end me' as famous friends break down in tears over his health in new TV show
SIR BILLY Connolly tells fans his Parkinson's disease "will end me" in an emotional new documentary set to air over Christmas.
The beloved comedian was diagnosed with the condition – in which parts of the brain become progressively damaged over many years – in 2013 and he will reportedly admit that he is "OK" now with what the future holds.
"It was obvious from my movement, that I wasn’t who I used to be. And so I had to explain it.. just to say that I am not defined by it," Billy says.
"It’s got me and it will get me and it will end me but that’s OK with me."
The Sun revealed earlier in 2020 that Sir Billy would no longer be performing stand-up comedy, and in the documentary, airing on ITV, the 78-year-old shares: "I started low and I ended high. Just staying up there, until it is time to stop, seems a natural and good thing to do.
"It is a good thing to be proud of, I wanted to be a funnyman and I got it."
Later, looking into the camera directly, The Mirror reports he says: "It’s been a pleasure talking to you all those years.
"From the beginning when I was a folkie, right through, I couldn’t have done anything without you. You have been magnificent."
Elsewhere in the episode Billy's famous friends, including Dustin Hoffman, Lenny Henry and Elton John, reveal their fondest memories of the star, with Dustin breaking down in tears.
"Billy is the one and he is the only. I want him to be around for a long, long time," he says.
"He was fearless, utterly fearless. There is so much material out there that he will be ever present I think. There aren’t many that leave a mark," adds Lenny.
Sir Elton once had Billy as a support act during a US tour, and said that the comedian was the "first rock star of comedy."
"He stands there for three hours and you don’t stop laughing," says Elton.
But Billy shares that he is "no complaints at all".
"I am very touched, but remember I am happy where I am and it’s because of you and what you made of my life," he adds.
Billy has refused to let Parkinson's define his life, and earlier in 2020 admitted he "doesn't approve" of only spending time with people who are also coping with the disease.
"I’m always being asked to go to Parkinson’s things and spend time with Parkinson’s people, having lunch or something like that. And I don’t approve of it," he told Sky News.
“I don’t think you should let Parkinson’s define you and all your pals be Parkinson’s people. I don’t think it’s particularly good for you. So I don’t do it.”
His candor with the diagnosis, however, has seen fans praise the funnyman and left them in tears.
In a clip filmed in 2018 for a BBC documentary, Billy said: “There is no denying it, I am 75, I have got Parkinson’s and I am at the wrong end of the telescope of life. I am at the point where the yesteryears mean more than the yesterdays.
“Because it is back there in my childhood and youth when I go to all those things that made me that live keenest in my memory now.”
Later in the documentary he added: "My life, it’s slipping away and I can feel it and I should."
Billy Connolly: It’s Been A Pleasure airs on ITV, Monday, December 28 at 9.30pm.
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