Billy Connolly diagnosed with Parkinson's and prostate cancer
Charismatic performer has 'fully recovered' after cancer surgery and plans to tour as normal
SCOTS comedian Billy Connolly has had surgery for prostate cancer and has been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. A spokeswoman for the 70-year-old told the BBC the operation had been a "total success" and said Connolly was fully recovered.
She said: "Billy Connolly recently underwent minor surgery in America after being diagnosed with the very early stages of prostate cancer.
In addition, Billy has been assessed as having the initial symptoms of Parkinson's disease, for which he is receiving the appropriate treatment."
She added that Connolly hoped to carry on working as normal: "Billy has been assured by experts that the findings will in no way inhibit or affect his ability to work, and he will start filming a TV series in the near future, as well as undertaking an extensive theatrical tour of New Zealand in the new year."
Connolly's first job was as a welder in the vast shipyards of 1960s Glasgow. Drawn into the burgeoning folk music revival, he began performing, playing banjo and singing. He quit the day job to go full-time in duo The Humblebums and later as a solo performer
Connolly's patter between songs generated laughter - and he expanded it, eventually ditching the music to become a stand-up comic, finding national fame through an LP and a risqué appearance on the BBC chat show Parkinson.
His later career has embraced stadium gigs, TV presenting and straight film roles. He starred opposite Judy Dench's Queen Victoria as romantic interest John Brown in the eponymous film and plays a dwarf in the upcoming second and third parts of Peter Jackson's The Hobbit. He has been married since 1989 to Pamela Stephenson, the comic actress turned clinical psychologist. ·