Legendary comedian Billy Connolly to retire from live performances

Billy Connolly

Legendary comedian and actor Billy Connolly has announced his retirement from live performances after almost 60 years on the stage.

The 76-year-old star said that his health problems had been overstated, but now was the time to call it a day.

He told the Radio Times: “I won’t ever tour again. It’s the rigmarole of getting around.

“I’ve had 50 years as a professional, that’ll do me. I kind of miss it, but I get enough chances to talk to people and be funny.”

Billy Connolly

Connolly also revealed that he had tried taking medical cannabis to help treat his Parkinson’s disease and had strong words about US President Donald Trump and the UK’s decision to leave the EU.

Connolly revealed he had Parkinson’s in 2013 and his wife Pamela has become his nurse during his illness.

He said that he had turned to medicinal marijuana to help treat his symptoms but had now stopped using the drug.

He said: “I just got bomb happy. Just stoned. It was quite pleasant, but I don’t want to do that every day.”

The Scottish star now lives in Florida and is concerned about what is going on in both his home country and adopted country with Brexit and the election of President Trump.

He said: “His rise is part of an international thing. It’s happening everywhere. I think it’s called fascism. They can call it white nationalism if they like, or alt-right, but it’s that Hitlerian lie-telling.

“Mocking the press, saying they’re the enemy of the people. It’s kind of frightening. Let’s wait until his time’s up. It will happen. Let’s just hope there isn’t a world war before that.”

He added that Brexit was a ‘con-job’ with all sorts of promises being made to the UK public if they voted to leave the EU – all of which have been abandoned.

Connolly’s career began in the early 1960s when he visited the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for the first time.

Over the years he became one of the UK’s and the world’s most loved comedians and one of the funniest and most engaging storytellers of modern times.

He also had a musical career with his folk band the Humblebums and appeared in dozens of movies and TV shows.

Connolly will be back on TV this month with a one-off special called ‘Billy Connolly’s Ultimate World Tour’.

The show sees him look back on his travels abroad speak about some of his career highlights, such as touring all over the world including Scotland, Canada and Australia.

Take a look at the videos below of some of Connolly’s classic stand-up routines (warning – the videos may contain strong language).

Written by Michael Kehoe @michaelcalling