Sir Billy Connolly has a special place in the hearts of many for his weird and wonderful characters, but it seems his popularity falls short when it comes to the Mongrel Mob.
Following the release of his new book, Rambling Man: My Life On The Road, the Scottish actor has revealed he was once cornered by the New Zealand gang while filming for a TV show, Daily Mail reports.
Confessing the moment left him terrified as he was all alone, he said the incident occurred in Wellington when he was riding his three-wheeled motorbike and only happened because the style of the jacket he was wearing resulted in the Kiwi gang mistaking him as a member of the notorious US-based gang, Hells Angels.
Sir Billy Connolly shared a picture of the bike he rode for his World Tour of New Zealand documentary. Photo / Facebook
“I was out riding by myself one morning in Wellington wearing my jacket when I realised I was being flanked by teamsters from the Mongrel Mob. That’s the largest biker gang in New Zealand and it has quite a reputation.” he wrote in his book.
“They surrounded me at some traffic lights and pulled me into a side street. I felt vulnerable because I was completely alone,” he added, “One of them asked “Where’d you get your jacket?” I said “I got in Los Angeles. A girl made it for me. She got permission from the Hells Angels.”
He continued to say he “loved” the jacket which featured “Too Old To Die Young” on the back of it in “Hells Angels-style typography and with a logo of a skull.”
Sir Billy Connolly shared a photo of his jacket in his new book, Rambling Man: My Life On The Road. Photo / Facebook
Adding that the group of gang members “were pretty aggressive”, The Hobbit actor said they went away, “had a little conference” and ultimately told him he was okay to wear the jacket before letting him leave.
“Afterwards, my TV crew went crazy because they didn’t get any of that on film. And I didn’t talk about it onstage because I wanted to get out of town in one piece,” he said.
Daily Mail has reported the confrontation occurred in 2004 when Connolly was filming his World Tour of New Zealand documentary series.
It comes after the 80-year-old comedian who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s - which causes uncontrollable movements, such as shaking, stiffness, and difficulty with co-ordination - in 2013, gave 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.”
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