“It’s OK,” he says. WORDS AND PICTURES COMBINED BY GLASGOWIST ©. Billy Connolly (Image: Media Scotland) "There are two seasons in Scotland: June and winter." I know where my watch is pal, where the f*** is yours? Rubbish. How his father, not long home from the war, often drunk, had “interfered with him”, abused him over a period of years, experiences that had, he had come to understand, fuelled his own alcoholism. “No, we kept away from all that madness,” he says, stiffening.
“It is all just about now.
We have pelicans and turkey buzzards; pterodactyls wouldn’t be a surprise. “Talk about Trump, though, look who you’ve got now over here: fucking soft boy.” It’s a relief to be a few thousand miles away from Brexit, he says. Or should I put up with it?’ So far, she has never tutted. She didn’t do it right last night. What do they expect to find?”, “When people say ‘life is short’. “It’s kind of like in my life now, she does things and I follow.”. He had been having a lot of therapy, not least from his comedian-turned-shrink wife. It was called fresh air fortnight. He looks well. I was 5,000 ft up in the air when someone pointed out to me that emus can’t fly”, “Whenever I wear something expensive it looks stolen.”, “Fame is being asked to sign your autograph on the back of a cigarette packet.”, “I used to have Mad Cow’s disease, but I’m alright nooooooooow.”, “In Mexico, everything on the menu is the same dish. It is a surreal kind of place. That was the start.”, One of the highlights of his latest TV travels in America was to pitch up in Alabama and hold Hank Williams’s guitar.
After that who cares?
F***ing eejits.”, [To heckler] “Shut up, do I come to your work and tell you how to sweep up?”, “I once travelled to Adelaide on Emu Airways. Particularly when you are on your own out there, I think, and it is your own material. “It’s a good place to live. He typed in the question ‘Is there a God?’ A few seconds went by and the answer came on the screen: ‘Now there is’.” He pauses again. “It is important to hold on to that,” he says. Quiets the voices in your head. “Life is a bowl of cherries,” he says. But it’s not terrible.” He had a doctor who told him: “You have to understand this is an incurable disease.” Connolly corrected him abruptly. But Parkinson’s is like that. Billy Connolly, known affectionately in his native Scotland as “The Big Yin”, celebrated his 75th birthday last week.
I know thousands of words but I still prefer 'f---. He still goes when he can. There’s no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothing, so get yourself a sexy raincoat and live a little.”, “When people say ‘it’s always the last place you look’. The old voice you can conjure with your eyes closed, so for the first five minutes or so it’s disconcerting to sit and talk with Billy Connolly. © 2020 Guardian News & Media Limited or its affiliated companies. It was as much about the city as it was about the man, at times the lines blur. It was like being in jail.” He erased it sharpish. I say, pose your arse off. But for the next generation, maybe.”. He and I fish together. “I can’t get out of bed, so I put my hands up like this” –he raises his arms – “when I want to get up and Pam pulls me to the side of the bed.
It ended up two pages long. After my father’s death, I thought all the bad stuff would go away, but actually it all came rushing back and dominated my thoughts. Get wasted all the time and you'll have the time of your life. Connolly was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease six years ago, just as he reached his three score years and 10.
He once joked that he thought for years that one club's name was "Partick Thistle Nil" and said of the disastrous manager of the Scotland World Cup team in 1978 that: ”Ally MacLeod thinks that tactics are a new kind of mint." (Features) by "Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)"; News, opinion and commentary General interest This was 50 years ago. “My father had bought a record called Dear Mary, by Slim Whitman, at the Barrowland market in Glasgow. His collected stories. "Scotland has the only football team in the world that does a lap of disgrace.". I had a voice like a goose farting in the fog. In his experience the alligators just stay away from humans after that.”. ", 14. It was a lovely feeling. Even The Horse Showed It's Sympathy For The Girl Who Just Couldn't Climb Up, Little Boy Trying To Impress A Girl With A Baseball, Chubby Girl Swings Straight On To The Ground, If You Look Once, You'll Miss Out On Stuff, Chimpanzee Throwing Dirt On Humans In A Zoo, When You Want To Train To Be An Astronaut, Some People Are Definitely Mentally Alien, Construction Failures That Bring Stupid Shame, Freaking Moron Jumps Into A Pool Of Black Oil And Get Painted Black. Probably not soon enough for me. All rights reserved. Is that so? He practically invented it, Billy Connolly at 75: Eddie Izzard, Armando Iannucci and more salute 'Beatles of comedy'.
That familiar electric gruffness has been replaced with something kindlier and more considered. All Rights Reserved. Pamela and I don’t cheer, but we watch it.”, There is an alligator catcher, a good man to know. If you change the word happy to content, that’s more what I’m after. It’s anti-social media’.
There is a naked bar not far from us, I’ve never been, though Pam has; I told her to choose her bar stool carefully. ", 9.
I'm never likely to go there.”, 22. “Mind you I sleep like a wild animal these days. “My eldest daughter makes films. I suggest that he has worked pretty hard for that over the years. Homer is a fat yellow lazy bastard and Marge is a skinny bird with big blue hair! “Shaky days. His wife Pamela Stephenson posted a clip to Twitter today of The Big Yin playing the banjo, where he responds to coverage of the comedian’s remarks in a recent BBC documentary that he could feel life “slipping away”. They’re bastards, and they do it on purpose.”, “My star sign is Pyrex. “No, I don’t miss it,” he says. Sections.
Strong language but LOL. ", 21. I was a test-tube baby.”, [On the failed Glasgow terrorist attack] “I saw the whole thing on the news in New York and I thought I’d need an ambulance. He also described growing old as an “adventure”. Pamela has to sleep in another bed.”. He doesn’t see that many “show business” friends these days, he says, though if singers and songwriters he likes – John Sebastian, Arlo Guthrie – are in Florida he will make an effort to go. Time is a waste of life. “It was great, but life without it is just dandy.
“Aye,” he says, with a beatific smile. The Parkinson’s obviously hasn’t gone away. Sir Billy Connolly reveals his eldest son, 50, is battling addiction to drink and drugs in latest episode of his ITV travel series.
“There is no Indian restaurant in Key West,” Connolly says, “so they will send me pictures of curries: ‘Eat your heart out’.”. ... Parkinson - Billy Connolly & Sir David Attenborough (1998) - Duration: 49:01. I've got A-level guilt.". The Green River. He’s resisted ever writing them down, but the fact that he recently announced retirement from the stage made it seem like the right moment. ", 6. Want an ad-free experience?Subscribe to Independent Premium. My favorite Billy Connolly sketch ever! A celebration of the best people and places in the city of Glasgow.
"I'm not going to throw away the hand of friendship to suit 100 Trotskyites in Glasgow. Billy Connolly was born in Dover Street, in Anderston, Glasgow. Watching him on TV in recent years, I suggest he seems to have parked that phase, moved on from it. 25. Sir Billy Connolly has adopted a dog during lockdown. “Hank Williams and Bob Dylan are the two,” he says. When he watches people up on stage does he still have a yearning to be up there too, in his element? As Billy Connolly enters retirement, he may not be on our screens very often, but you will continue to see echoes of his career on the streets of Glasgow.
I wonder when was the last time he walked into a room and no one recognised him? ", 27. “I have got rid of it all. To order a copy for £17.60 go to guardianbookshop.com or call 0330 333 6846. 16. What was the happiest time of his life? To celebrate we have compiled 75 of the stand-up legend’s finest jokes, one-liners and quips. And I realised I had to take it all on directly.”, Stephenson – with whom he has three daughters, as well as a son and daughter from his first marriage – was obviously a gift in that regard: a blast of up-front Aussie courage to uncover all that was buried under layers of tight-lipped Scottishness and maleness and old-school Clydeside welder’s banter. She also insisted Connolly had to move forward. “Tom came to see me a few times in San Francisco,” he says, “and he brought his sons along to a show. “Loosen your trousers, untie your shoes and just sit with your eyes closed for 10 minutes or so. Religious people, for instance. "Marriage is a wonderful invention; but then again so is a bicycle repair kit.”, 4. Connolly was over in the UK to finish the voiceovers of his latest eccentric tour of America for ITV. Billy Connolly has retired. Last modified on Mon 7 Oct 2019 07.53 BST. Religious people for example. I don’t dwell on any of that in my past now. Still, he says, he can’t quite bear to look at his own words on the page. He subsequently had to reassure fans by putting out a short film of himself crooning with his banjo on the deck of his Florida home: “Not dying, not dead, not slipping away.”. "Ronald Reagan sits at that desk in the White House, and the button is there that can end the world: BOOM! I say to him it is good to see that reports of his demise were exaggerated. Buckets are the kitchen utensils of the farmyard. Strong language but LOL. Before he knew it she had found and bought the house in Key West. Pamela has to sort my pillows out when I get into bed. MADE IN GLASGOW. They are lovely people. "I'm a huge film star... but you have to hurry to the movies, because I usually die in the first 15 f---ing minutes. She had written a book about him, with him, in which he revealed all sorts of darkness.
Now this book is out, I ask if he has any plans to write a proper memoir.
I have to correct it. It’s completely nuts.”, Connolly has a foot in Europe with a house on the island of Gozo, off Malta, which he bought after his manager, Steve Brown, moved there. The festive season might well be merry and bright, but for many people, it’s also the most stressful time of the year. The thing therapy can teach you is you have to employ forgiveness in life.
Oh wellies they are swell, ", 19. “I worry about ridiculous things, you know, how does a guy who drives a snowplough get to work in the morning... that can keep me awake for days.”, 12. If it’s an improvement, then there must have been something before it.”, [To heckler] “When they put teeth in your mouth, they spoiled a perfectly good bum.”, “Bonnie Prince Charlie was the only man ever named after three sheepdogs.”, “So have you heard about the oyster who went to a club and pulled a mussel?”, “Oh wellies they are wonderful, I like it.”.
But he is not finished yet. “You can lug it around all your life if you like. There are a few Brits there too, mostly moaning about how Britain is full of immigrants…”.
When I buy a Big Issue, people take it out of my hand and give me a pound.”, “Life is a waste of time, and time is a waste of life. For the majority of those 75 years, Connolly has taken great pleasure in reducing audiences to tears of laughter with his rambunctious brand of comedy.
Date with Billy: Mexican Food bananarider69.
", Billy Connolly attends the UK Film Party At Sundance, 17.
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