Billy Connolly hits out at Michael Parkinson for speaking publicly about his illness

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Billy Connolly

Comedy legend Sir Billy Connolly has hit out Sir Michael Parkinson after the chat show king made comments about Connolly’s illness.

Connolly suffers from Parkinson’s disease and was angered when Parkinson spoke publicly about the pair meeting at an awards do.


Parkinson said that he was saddened that the illness had dulled Connolly’s ‘wonderful brain’. He added that Connolly didn’t recognise him, even though they had been friends for decades.

Billy Connolly

He said: “To know someone as long as I knew and loved Billy… it was an awful thing to contemplate, that that had been taken from him in a sense.

“He was just a genius and the best thing that happened to me on the show.”

Connolly and his wife Pamela strongly denied this. At the time, Pamela said: “Mike Parkinson is a daft old fart – doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Billy’s doing great and still funny as hell.”

Now the Scottish star has revealed that he felt let down by Parkinson and hasn’t spoken to him since.

He said; “It was two years since I’d seen him and that occasion was the GQ dinner and I did really well, so what he was talking about I’ll never know. He’s been selling funerals too long,” he told The Times.

“The thing that got me about it was what if it was true? It’s still a shitty thing to do. What do you think of Billy Connolly? ‘Oh, he’s f****d’.”

He added that his old friend hasn’t apologised and that they rarely speak anyway.

He said: “These Yorkshiremen, I don’t think they apologise much. I wasn’t disappointed, it just made my life a bit difficult. People feeling sorry for me, I don’t like that.”

Connolly was diagnosed with Parkinson’s five years ago and his memory and muscle tone have declined.

He has announced that after 50 years in the public eye he is to retire from live performing.

Written by Michael Kehoe @michaelcalling