‘Wife puts my clothes on’ Billy Connolly admits he ‘suffers badly’ in rare TV appearance

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The BAFTA TV Awards returned to London on Sunday evening as the biggest names from the world of television gathered to celebrate a monumental year on-screen. Richard Ayoade was the man on hand to conduct the ceremony with big winners including Motherland, Big Zuu and Succession’s Matthew Macfadyen. However, arguably the most prestigious award, the Fellowship, went to comedian Sir Billy Connolly who had pre-recorded his acceptance.


Billy said in his acceptance speech: “Hello ladies and gentlemen. It is I, Billy Connolly, accepting my wonderful thing. 

“It’s just beautiful, isn’t it?” Billy added as he stared at the award.

He went on: “I’m very proud to receive this. Life is good.

“I haven’t been on the stage for about two years (so) this is kinda nice. It suits me.”

The comedian then brought up his health battle with Parkinson’s as he was aware some viewers may have spotted some physical differences.

“The symptom spotters among you may realise my left is different from my right,” he explained.

“it’s just one of these things (from) Parkinson’s disease. I suffer badly from the disease.

“My wife puts on my clothes in the morning and takes them off at night. It’s a jolly life, I’ve got no complaints,” he quipped.

Billy continued: “I did a gig once in Scotland 50 years ago. To show you how the world has changed, it was in Stornaway in the Western Isles,

“And I went there and I discovered that I didn’t have my earring with me and I decided to buy one and shake the locals. 

“I went to the jeweller’s shop and they pulled out a rack of earrings that were all swinging. 

“There were daffodils and all kinds of flowers and stars, diamonds, but there was none that the was just the hoop I was looking for. There was one but it had an extra bit on it.”

Billy’s tale went on: “I couldn’t be bothered and I was looking upset and the guy said, ‘What type of earring do you usually wear?’ 

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“I said, ‘Well, it’s for me,’ and he said, ‘We don’t really stock mens’ earrings’. The world is a different place.”

Billy also delved into his own career in television, touching on the challenges he faced early on in his career.

He said: “I’ve grown to like television. When they let me do what I want to do, when they let me down what I think I should be doing.

“There used to be directors and stuff telling you what to do and what to say and I always felt awkward, I wasn’t doing what I was good at. 

“Eventually I got to the position where I said, ‘I’m not saying that, I want to say this’, and I would say that and it would be a huge success and it was lovely. 

“So I went from strength to strength on television and here we are today getting this award.”

Still one to show off his quick wit, Billy joked: “I couldn’t be happier. It’s made me so happy getting these good attendance medals when my career’s out the window.”

He signed off: “It’s lovely talking to you. See you all.”

The BAFTA TV Awards are available to stream on BBC iPlayer now.

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