Entertainment

Billy Connolly joking about Parkinson's

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Billy Connolly has said he doesn't pay much attention to his diagnosis with Parkinson's disease while he is performing, and sometimes mocks his symptoms by playing Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin On.

The Scottish comedian was diagnosed with the degenerative disease three years ago but said he continues to do his shows in spite of it.

In a TV documentary celebrating his career, he said: "The doctor said to me 'You realise this isn't curable?' and I thought 'What a rotten thing to say to somebody'.

"I always thought he should have said 'You realise we are yet to find a cure?', to put a little light at the end of the tunnel. There's a lot to be said for that."

"When I'm in front of people performing I don't give it much attention, I perform in spite of it. That's why I put on Whole Lotta Shakin' Going On, just to do that (swearing) to it."

In the program Billy Connolly And Me: A Celebration, Connolly's famous fans - including Judi Dench, Elton John, Peter Kay and Andy Murray paid tribute to him.

Dench, who starred opposite Connolly in Mrs Brown, said his jokes would stop her from getting enough sleep while they were making the movie.

She told the show: "I just remember glancing at my watch, thinking 'I've got a call at 5:30/6 in the morning, can I really do this with eight hours sleep? Six hours sleep? Four hours sleep?"

Other stars who shared their memories included Eric Idle, David Tennant and Connolly's wife Pamela Stephenson, while fans from Scotland to Qatar told of how he changed their lives.

One fan revealed she delivered her second child to his comedy recordings, while another said he made him proud of his disability and others said his travelogues encouraged them to explore the world.

© PAA 2017

Image: Yui Mok/PA Wire