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Billy Connolly: ‘I’m not ready to go back on stage’

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Media captionBilly Connolly: “Nothing else will keep you going like laughter”

Comedian Billy Connolly says he would love to perform live again but he’s “not ready”.

The 76-year-old, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s six years ago, told the BBC: “I don’t know if I can do it with the state my mind is in.”

He added: “British comedy is in great shape now. I’d be scared to go on with these guys (current comedians).”

But the Big Yin said he would still “make it” if he was starting his career today because “it’s about attitude”.

He also said he was sanguine about the state of his health.

‘Just deal with it’

“I’m old, I’m 76 – my hearing, my eyesight, the way I walk, it’s all beginning to fail.

“It’s just about accepting what it is. You’ve got trouble getting into bed, trouble getting your socks on.

“Just deal with it. That’s who you are now. You’re a drooling, limping has-been! Get on with it. Enjoy it.”

Image copyright Billy Connolly/Castle Fine Art
Image caption Connolly has recently written a book called Tall Tales and Wee Stories

In a recent documentary, Connolly said he’s not scared of dying: “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.”

Connolly announced he was being treated for the initial symptoms of Parkinson’s disease in 2013, admitting he had started to forget his lines during performances.

In the interview, he also discussed how the current political landscape in his home country of Scotland.

In an independence referendum held in September 2014, Scotland voted to remain part of the United Kingdom. Connolly has previously expressed support for the union.

“Politically, [Scotland] is in extraordinary shape,” he said. “It’s beginning to stand alone, and they won’t take crap anymore. They don’t want to settle for whoever England votes for.

Asked directly if he would support Scottish independence in the event of a second referendum, he replied: “I don’t know. If Scotland would like it, I would like it.”

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