Billy Connolly, 76, got candid about living with Parkinson’s disease in an interview with Chris Evans, 53, on Virgin Radio. The comedian, who was diagnosed with the condition six years ago, opened up about some “awful” symptoms he is currently dealing with. He told the presenter: “I’ve started to drool which is a new one on me. “This disease it gives you a new thing every now and again that you have to deal with and drooling is my latest.”
Detailing other aspects of the disease, Billy added: “I walk unsteadily and my hearing is going and it’s bizarre that bits of me are fallen off but it’s interesting.”
The Scottish performer went on to explain why he has been avoiding taking to the stage since his diagnosis.
When Chris quizzed him on why he is reluctant to perform live, Billy admitted: “It would affect my performance.
“I don’t think the way I used to, I don’t think at the same speed as I used to. And because I don’t need to.
“I don’t really know if the performance bit has gone because I have to get into the performance mode to see that.”
He continued: “I’d have to walk onto the stage and I’ve never done that.
“And steadily more symptoms come and it’s incurable. It’s not going to end.
“As a matter of fact I had a Russian doctor in New York who said, ‘You realise this is an incurable disease’.
“And I said, ‘You’ve got to get a grip of yourself, stop calling it an incurable disease, say we have yet to find the cure’. Give the guy a light in the tunnel. Incurable is such an awful thing to say to somebody.”
Billy released his new book Tall Tales and Wee Stories: The Best of Billy Connolly this week.
The star explained the ending of the book is, “The performer saying goodbye”, but not him personally.
Last year, Billy said he felt his life was “slipping away” in a documentary.
He divulged: “There is no denying it, I am 75, I have got Parkinson’s and I am at the wrong end of the telescope of life.
“I am at the point where the yesteryears mean more than the yesterdays.
“Because, it is back there in my childhood and youth when I go to all those things that made me that live keenest in my memory now.”
He added: ”My life, it’s slipping away and I can feel it and I should. I’m 75, I’m near the end.
“I’m a damn sight nearer the end than I am the beginning.”
The Chris Evans Virgin Radio Breakfast Show with Sky airs weekdays from 6am.
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