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Sir Billy Connolly says he's suffered ‘serious falls’ amid Parkinson’s diagnosis

Sir Billy Connolly says he's suffered ‘serious falls’ amid Parkinson’s diagnosis

Billy and his wife Pamela recently did a joint interview, revealing the toll Parkinson's has taken on his life

Sir Billy Connolly says he's suffered ‘serious falls’ following his Parkinson’s diagnosis.

The legendary comic first went public about being diagnosed with the disease in 2013.

Parkinson’s is a condition in which parts of the brain become progressively damaged over many years, as per the NHS.

Symptoms of the disease include involuntary shaking of body parts, slow movement and stiff and inflexible muscles.

Connolly said he was ‘finished with stand-up’ in 2020 and explained to Sky News: “It was the first thing I was ever good at and I'm delighted and grateful to it.

“The Parkinson's has made my brain work differently and you need a good brain for comedy. Everything you say should have five or six alternatives behind it.”

Connolly retired from live performance in 2020.
Mike Marsland/WireImage/Getty Images

In a recent interview with The Guardian, he shared the thing he missing most about live performance: “The fact that it doesn’t matter what kind of day you’re having; you’re gonna have a great night.”

The 80-year-old has been open with his experiences with Parkinson’s over the decade since announcing his diagnosis.

Talking with his wife Pamela Stephenson, he told The Guardian about the evolution of his diagnosis.

“It’s very difficult to see the progression exactly, because a lot of things come and go,” Connolly explained.

“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.”

Billy Connolly and Pamela Stephenson.
David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Audi

Stephenson added: “The balance issue has been most significant, hasn’t it? Especially since, unfortunately, it resulted in you having a couple of serious falls.”

Connolly elaborated on this: “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…’”

But his wife remarked: “It wasn’t so funny when you broke your hip.”

The comedian described the ‘falls’ as just one of a list of ‘things that hold me back’.

Connolly explained: “I’m being encroached upon by this disease. It’s creeping up behind me and stopping me doing things. It’s a cruel disease.”

He also praised his wife as he said to her: “You’ve rallied round to looking after me. And it suits you great. And it sure suits me lovely.”

To which Stephenson said: “Well, you’d do the same if I got Parkinson’s or something else.”

And he agreed: “Course I would.”

Featured Image Credit: Mike Marsland/WireImage/Getty Images/BBC

Topics: Health, Celebrity