Comedian Billy Connolly seen for first time since pal’s shock interview

Comedian Sir Billy Connolly has been pictured for the first time since Sir Michael Parkinson claimed he could no longer recognise his friends.

The Scottish comedian, rebutted his longtime friends’s comments about the effect of his Parkinson’s disease on his memory, as he met up with a young Glasgow girl who’s been raising money for Parkinson’s UK. 

The seven-year-old has been rewarded for her charity fundraising efforts with a visit from her hero, Connolly, after she was inspired to raise money for charity following a class project about the comedian. 

Abby McConnell, left, got to meet comedy legend Billy Connolly after the seven-year-old raised more than £1,200 for Parkinson's UK. The Big Yin, right, suffers from the disease

Abby McConnell, left, got to meet comedy legend Billy Connolly after the seven-year-old raised more than £1,200 for Parkinson's UK. The Big Yin, right, suffers from the disease

Abby McConnell, left, got to meet comedy legend Billy Connolly after the seven-year-old raised more than £1,200 for Parkinson’s UK. The Big Yin, right, suffers from the disease

Sir Billy was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease several years ago. He said 'art is his life now'

Sir Billy was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease several years ago. He said 'art is his life now'

Sir Billy was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease several years ago. He said ‘art is his life now’

Sir Billy, who was diagnosed with the condition several years ago, said it was a ‘privilege’ to meet the Mount Florida Primary pupil who so far has collected £1,200.

Abby said: ‘I can’t believe I got to meet my hero. Sir Billy was so nice and he even gave me a kiss.’

Her mother Karen added: ‘There isn’t a day where Abby doesn’t talk about Sir Billy.

‘Meeting him was wonderful, he spent ages chatting with Abby and she’ll remember this day forever.’

Sir Billy, in Glasgow to launch his new art exhibition Born On A Rainy Day, said: ‘For Abby to show caring for Parkinson’s disease at her tender age shows kindness beyond belief. Meeting her was a privilege.’

Meanwhile the funnyman said his ‘art is his life now’ as he unveiled a new exhibition of his work in Glasgow.

Born On A Rainy Day is the latest installment in his collection and includes 25 new sketches.

In 2013, the comedian revealed he had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s and prostate cancer on the same day but has since been given the all clear for cancer.

He told BBC Scotland: ‘I get up in the morning and feed the fish. I catch them in the afternoon, and then I draw and I have this idyllic life.

‘I don’t miss touring for a minute. I’ve had my fill of it, I’ve done the big and I’ve done the wee and been there and I’ve done it – I’m very proud of that.’

His first exhibition was unveiled in 2012, with his art being described as similar to surrealist automatism as well as cave paintings from the Aurignacian period.

Sir Billy, a folk musician before he pursued comedy, has previously spoken of having to give up his beloved banjo because of Parkinson’s.

On the subject of his health, he told the broadcaster: ‘I’m okay, I’m having a kind of shoogly day today, the nerves and stuff, I’m kind of shaking a bit.

‘It varies from day to day, today is slightly shoogly, but otherwise I’m perfectly okay.’

The exhibition runs between November 16 and 30 at Castle Fine Art on Queen Street 

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