In Depth

Billy Connolly retires: five of his greatest routines

Famed Scottish comedian reveals he'll never tour again after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2013

Famed Scottish comedian Billy Connolly has revealed that he has retired from stand-up comedy.

“I won’t ever tour again,” the Scottish stand-up comedian, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2013 told Radio Times magazine.

“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,” he said.

In a wide-ranging interview the comedian also revealed he had tried medicinal cannabis to treat his Parkinson’s disease, likened Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler, and rebutted Michael Parkinson’s claim that his illness had “dulled” his brain.

“He thought I’d lost track, mentally, but I never remember what year anything was,” Connolly said. “I haven’t a clue. I’ve always been about going forward, not the past. Plus, we were doing the GQ event, I was Inspiration of the Year, and I blew everybody away. He should have remembered that,” he added.

“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,” he added. 

But the Scottish comedian said that while his illness had not put a strain on his relationship with his wife, Pamela Stephenson, it had “changed it”.

“She’s more of my nurse now. She’s very good to me. She makes my breakfast, then she does my pillows at night. I make the dinner, though she has to help me to chop up wee things like garlic. When my daughters come and live with me they help me do all the chopping and slicing. I’m a follower of Madhur Jaffrey. I make quite complicated Indian things.”

His condition, while incurable, had become manageable, he added.

Connolly has been promoting his new programme, Billy Connolly’s Ultimate World Tour, “a travelogue in which he gives a guided tour of Florida while reminiscing on his world-spanning adventures, from his sheer amazement at the scale of the Grand Canyon to dancing naked in Orkney”, says The Guardian.

So to mark his retirement here are five of Big Yin’s all-time greatest routines:

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