Billy Connolly Says 'Life Is Slipping Away' In Emotional Documentary As He Battles Parkinson's And Cancer

Sir Billy Connolly said that his life is "slipping away" in what could be one of his final TV appearances.

The Scottish comedian was diagnosed with prostate cancer and Parkinson's Disease on the same day in 2013.

And Billy heartbreakingly tells viewers of his new BBC documentary series Made in Scotland that he is "near the end".

Speaking in the docu-series filmed last year, the legendary funnyman 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."

The comedian, now 76, admitted that death no longer 'frightens' him.

Billy was diagnosed with prostate cancer and Parkinson's Disease in 2013. Credit: BBC
Billy was diagnosed with prostate cancer and Parkinson's Disease in 2013. Credit: BBC

Reflecting on his morality later in the two-part series, Billy continued: "My life, it's slipping away and I can feel it and I should.

"I'm 75, I'm near the end. I'm a damn sight nearer the end than I am the beginning. But it doesn't frighten me, it's an adventure and it is quite interesting to see myself slipping away.

"As bits slip off and leave me, talents leave and attributes leave. I don't have the balance I used to have, I don't have the energy I used to have. I can't hear the way I used to hear, I can't see as good as I used to.

"I can't remember the way I used to remember. And they all came one at a time and they just slipped away, thank you."

Billy added: "It is like somebody is in charge of you and they are saying 'right, I added all these bits when you were a youth, now it is time to subtract'.

"I can't work my left hand on the banjo, it is as if I am being prepared for something. Some other adventure, which is over the hill.

Sir Billy said he was no longer scared of death. Credit: BBC
Sir Billy said he was no longer scared of death. Credit: BBC

"I have got all this stuff to lose first and then I will be the shadowy side of the hill, doing the next episode in the spirit world."

Billy has cut back on his work since his Parkinson's has worsened. His ill health became more apparent to viewers after he asked the crew to stop filming as he struggled with the pain.

While talking to the camera, Billy began to shake - a common symptom of Parkinson's Disease.

He said: "The Parkinson's is strange because it is not going to go away. All my life I have got sick and I have got the flu and pneumonia various things and they all went away, this isn't going anywhere. It is going to get worse.

The comedian reflected on his diagnosis in the two-part documentary. Credit: PA Images
The comedian reflected on his diagnosis in the two-part documentary. Credit: PA Images

"It takes a certain calm to deal with, and I sometimes don't have it. I sometimes get angry with it, but that doesn't last long, I just collapse in laughter.

"The good things are there, the love we have for people is still there, and with a bit of luck the love they have for you is still there.

"And I am very lucky in as much as I made a bit of a mark, and you think 'well I must have done something right'. And that keeps you company when you are older, is the fact that when you were creative, you created well, it accompanies you, it is a great companion.

"You can volunteer to take life seriously but it is gonna get you, they are going to win over you, it is harsh, but you can either break down and complain about how miserable your life is or have a go at. it and survive. I think that is the basis of it all."

Parkinson's Disease is a long-term degenerative disorder of the central nervous system which mainly affects the motor system, with symptoms worsening over time.

Billy Connolly: Made In Scotland will air on BBC2 at 9pm on Friday.

Featured Image Credit: BBC

Rachel Andrews

Rachel Andrews is an NCTJ trained Journalist at PRETTY52. She specialises in Fashion and Beauty Journalism, and has experience at a range of online and print publications and joined the team in 2017. Contact her - rachel.andrews@pretty52.com

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