Sir Billy Connolly has shared an upsetting update amid his decade-long battle with Parkinson’s disease.
The 80-year-old comedian was diagnosed with the brain disorder - which causes uncontrollable movements, such as shaking, stiffness, and difficulty with coordination - in 2013, Now, he’s given fans an update revealing that he has been struggling to balance as of late, and explained that the “cruel” disease is constantly stopping him from doing things.
Speaking to the Observer, he 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 and the inability to get out of certain types of chairs.
“It’s just added to the list of things that hold me back. I feel like I want to go for a walk, but I go for 50 yards and I want to go home, because I’m tired. I’m being encroached upon by this disease. It’s creeping up behind me and stopping me doing things. It’s a cruel disease.”
Billy Connolly and his wife, Pamela Stephenson, have given an update on the comedian's battle with Parkinson's disease. Photo / Getty Images
Connolly - who is being cared for by his wife Pamela Stephenson - went on to describe age as a “weird, nasty surprise” as he realises the things he can no longer do.
He added: “It’s a cunning ploy that awaits you. The surprise is f****** nerve-racking. That suddenly you can’t walk any more. Can’t run. Can’t jump. It’s a weird and nasty surprise.
“I don’t know if we should tell people about it, or just let it be their surprise when they come to it. But I think to prepare for it would be depressing.”
Stephenson has also shared an update on the comedian’s condition telling the Guardian their relationship has changed as a result of her being his carer. They explained that she not only helps him get ready every morning but gives him “lifts everywhere” as he can no longer drive.
Connolly was diagnosed with the disease in 2013 on the exact same day he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. While he was cleared of the cancer later that year following an operation, in 2018, he officially retired from live performances due to his Parkinson’s.
- Additional reporting by NZ Herald
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