Sir Billy Connolly leads the Tartan Day Parade with wife Pamela Stephenson in NYC

He recently revealed that he felt as though he was ‘near the end’ as he continues to fight Parkinson’s Disease.

Yet Sir Billy Connolly looked in high spirits as he led the annual Tartan Day Parade alongside his wife Pamela Stephenson in New York City on Saturday.

The much loved comedian, 76, told how he had a ‘wee jig in my heart’ as he took on the role of Grand Marshall at the event.

Proud: Sir Billy Connolly looked in high spirits as he led the annual Tartan Day Parade alongside his wife Pamela Stephenson in New York City on Saturday

Proud: Sir Billy Connolly looked in high spirits as he led the annual Tartan Day Parade alongside his wife Pamela Stephenson in New York City on Saturday

Proud: Sir Billy Connolly looked in high spirits as he led the annual Tartan Day Parade alongside his wife Pamela Stephenson in New York City on Saturday

Dressed up to the nines in a red tartan blazer and traditional kilt, the Scottish star beamed and waved as he joined the 30,000 spectators in the city.

While his beloved wife Pamela, 69, lent her support as she donned an all black ensemble teamed with a tartan shawl to match her husband’s outfit.

The parade featured many acts including Highland dancers, pipers, drummers, and Scottish clans performing for the crowds as they followed the Big Yin down Manhattan’s Sixth Avenue.

Glaswegian Billy, who accepted the role of Grand Marshall despite announcing in December that he was retiring from touring, spoke of his joy at taking part.

Upbeat: The much loved comedian, 76, told how he had a 'wee jig in my heart' as he took on the role of Grand Marshall at the event

Upbeat: The much loved comedian, 76, told how he had a 'wee jig in my heart' as he took on the role of Grand Marshall at the event

Upbeat: The much loved comedian, 76, told how he had a ‘wee jig in my heart’ as he took on the role of Grand Marshall at the event

Big moment: Dressed up to the nines in a red tartan blazer and traditional kilt, the Scottish star beamed and waved as he joined the 30,000 spectators in the city

Big moment: Dressed up to the nines in a red tartan blazer and traditional kilt, the Scottish star beamed and waved as he joined the 30,000 spectators in the city

Big moment: Dressed up to the nines in a red tartan blazer and traditional kilt, the Scottish star beamed and waved as he joined the 30,000 spectators in the city

He said: ‘I’ve absolutely loved being Grand Marshal of this year’s New York City Tartan Day Parade.

‘The crowds were brilliant and hearing the skirl of the pipes echoing along Sixth Avenue made me dance a wee jig in my heart. What a day.’

Other Grand Marshall’s that have taken part include Sean Connery, Alex Ferguson and Brian Cox, while singer KT Tunstall became the first woman to lead the parade last year.

The spectacular event, now in its 21st year, is a highlight of New York’s Tartan Week, which sees a full programme of special events in the Big Apple between April 3-8.

Billy’s animated outing comes shortly after he stated that he was ‘near the end’ in a candid interview which saw him discuss his illness.

Support: While his beloved wife Pamela, 69, lent her support as she donned an all black ensemble teamed with a tartan shawl to match her husband's outfit

Support: While his beloved wife Pamela, 69, lent her support as she donned an all black ensemble teamed with a tartan shawl to match her husband's outfit

Support: While his beloved wife Pamela, 69, lent her support as she donned an all black ensemble teamed with a tartan shawl to match her husband’s outfit

Happy: Glaswegian Billy, who accepted the role of Grand Marshall despite announcing in December that he was retiring from touring, spoke of his joy at taking part

Happy: Glaswegian Billy, who accepted the role of Grand Marshall despite announcing in December that he was retiring from touring, spoke of his joy at taking part

Happy: Glaswegian Billy, who accepted the role of Grand Marshall despite announcing in December that he was retiring from touring, spoke of his joy at taking part

The comedian was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2012 and has been pictured looking frailer and more subdued than the larger than life character we have come to expect.

Sir Billy – who also had to have his prostate removed following a cancer diagnosis several years ago – has joked in the past about his shaky hand, over which he has little control.

He admitted in a BBC documentary in January that his diagnosis with the degenerative brain condition meant he was now ‘at the wrong end of the telescope of life’.

Billy said at the time: ‘My life is slipping away and I can feel it and I should. I’m 75 [at the time of filming] and I’m a damn sight nearer the end than I am the beginning.

Momentous occasion: 'The crowds were brilliant and hearing the skirl of the pipes echoing along Sixth Avenue made me dance a wee jig in my heart. What a day,' he said

Momentous occasion: 'The crowds were brilliant and hearing the skirl of the pipes echoing along Sixth Avenue made me dance a wee jig in my heart. What a day,' he said

Momentous occasion: ‘The crowds were brilliant and hearing the skirl of the pipes echoing along Sixth Avenue made me dance a wee jig in my heart. What a day,’ he said

But it doesn’t frighten me – it’s an adventure and it’s quite interesting to see myself slipping away, as bits slip off and leave me, talents leave and attributes leave.

‘It’s as if I’m being prepared for something, some other adventure, which is over the hill. I’ve got all this stuff to lose first, and then I’ll be at the shadowy side of the hill doing the next episode in the spirit world.’

The funnyman has two children – Cara, 45, and Jamie, 49, from his first marriage to Iris Pressagh.

Billy and Pamela have three children together – Scarlett, 30, Amy, 32, and Daisy, 34.

Honest: Billy's animated outing comes shortly after he stated that he was 'near the end' in a candid interview which saw him discuss his illness

Honest: Billy's animated outing comes shortly after he stated that he was 'near the end' in a candid interview which saw him discuss his illness

Honest: Billy’s animated outing comes shortly after he stated that he was ‘near the end’ in a candid interview which saw him discuss his illness

Link hienalouca.com

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