Billy Connolly had 'serious fall' following balance issues, says wife
Billy Connolly had ‘serious fall’ following balance issues amid Parkinson’s battle: ‘It’s very difficult to see the progression’
Sir Billy Connolly’s wife Pamela Stephenson has spoken out about the star’s health troubles, revealing the comic had ‘a couple of serious falls’ after they noticed his balance was deteriorating.
Scottish comedian Sir Billy, 80, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease a decade ago on the same day he found out he had prostate cancer, for which he was later given the all clear.
The comic spoke about the degenerative disease with his spouse Pamela for an article in The Guardian, and said: ‘It’s very difficult to see the progression exactly, because a lot of things come and go.
‘Recently I’ve noticed a deterioration in my balance. That was never such a problem before, but in the last year that has come and it has stayed.
‘For some reason, I thought it would go away, because a lot of symptoms have come and gone away … just to defy the symptom spotters. The shaking has reappeared…’
Troubles: Sir Billy Connolly’s wife Pamela Stephenson has revealed the comic had ‘a couple of serious falls’ after they noticed his balance was deteriorating
Pamela added: ‘The balance issue has been most significant, hasn’t it?
‘Especially since, unfortunately, it resulted in you having a couple of serious falls …’
Sir Billy said he had a fall which reminded him of a joke he used to make on stay, explaining: ‘I used to say, “I fell out of bed, but luckily my face broke my fall…”‘
However, the funnyman admitted his falls add ‘to the list of things that hold me back’.
He said he often wants to go for a walk but after 50 yards he feels tired and wants to return home, admitting he’s ‘being encroached upon by this disease [Parkinson’s]’.
‘It’s creeping up behind me and stopping me doing things. It’s a cruel disease,’ he said.
While Pamela said the disease has been ‘pretty slow-moving’, Sir Billy insists it ‘doesn’t make it any more pleasant’.
The couple spoke about how their relationship has changed since the comedian was diagnosed and Sir Billy said that his wife now dresses him in the morning, mentioning that he has ask for lifts everywhere as he is unable to drive anymore.
Health: Scottish comedian Sir Billy, 80, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease a decade ago (pictured with wife Pamela in 2014)
In May last year, Billy said he doesn’t let his Parkinson’s disease dictate who he is as he spoke of his honour at being named the recipient of the 2022 Bafta Fellowship.
The Scottish comedian was celebrated for a career spanning more than five decades at the Virgin Media Bafta TV Awards last year.
Sir Billy, who was knighted in 2017 for services to entertainment and charity, continued to record programmes and make TV appearances after his diagnosis.
Speaking to Bafta.org about the fellowship, which is the highest accolade given to recognise ‘outstanding and exceptional contribution’ in film, games or television across their career, he said: ‘I have a collection of shiny things that I’m very proud of.
‘But I never set out to get them or hunt them down. I don’t believe in aiming at it because if you don’t get it for whatever reason you’re all disappointed.
‘Just do what you do well and you’ll find yourself a fellow before you know it.
‘It’s really important to work, to draw, to write, to walk silly for your grandchildren,’ he told Bafta.org, saying: ‘Doing the same thing you’ve always done is good for you.
‘I don’t let the Parkinson’s dictate who I am – I just get on with it. I’ve had a very successful career and I have no regrets at all.’
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