Billy Connolly risks angering woke listeners as he brilliantly leaves BBC hosts flustered with joke

Billy Connolly risks angering woke listeners as he brilliantly leaves BBC hosts flustered with joke

WATCH NOW: Billy Connolly discusses his new book

Alex Davies

By Alex Davies

Published: 12/10/2023

- 10:20

Updated: 12/10/2023

- 11:41

The 80-year-old comic proved his quick wit is still as sharp as ever

Comedian Billy Connolly left radio listeners with a risky parting joke during a recent interview.

The 80-year-old - who's been living with Parkinson's for the past decade - took to the airwaves for a rare discussion ahead of the release of his new book, Rambling Man: My Life on the Road.

Connolly's book aims to take a look back at his life performing on the road and delve into the numerous encounters with people whose wisdom they imparted to him.

Radio 4's Martha Kearney was the host who was tasked with speaking to Connolly about the new project.

During the interview, Connolly reflected on his career performing on stage as well as how he's coped with living with Parkinson's and the explanation behind his new book's name.

But arguably the most memorable moment from the interview came when Kearney asked: "One of your chapter headings is, 'What do Stetsons and hemorrhoids have in common?'"

Billy Connolly

Billy Connolly was knighted in 2017


"This was told to me by an old friend, Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones," Connolly teed up. "He said, 'What do Stetsons and hemorrhoids have in common?'

"And the answer is, 'Every a**ehole eventually gets one'," Connolly said as he delivered the punchline.

The delivery and use of the expletive clearly caught BBC Radio 4's Justin Webb and Mishal Hussain off-guard, with Webb replying soon after: "Well, follow that!"

Hussain was similarly flustered as she weighed in: "There's more of that, there's a longer version of that - we can't quite vouch for the content... But now to the sport, much cleaner than that I hope, Mike."

The sports reporter was also taken aback as he conceded: "Yes, I'm lost for words really after that."

The moment went down a storm with a number of listeners at home, with some praising Connolly for his wit.

One listener said on X, formerly known as Twitter: "What a wonderful, thoughtful, sad yet uplifting interview with Billy Connolly on @BBCr4today about his career and his Parkinson's diagnosis.

"Delighted he ended it with a joke that'll probably get someone at R4 into trouble," they added before a second echoed: "OMG @Billy_Connolly on #radio4 just now. So honest, and in turn, funny. My dad had #Parkinsons," followed by a prayer emoji.

Elsewhere, another weighed in: "The wonderful Billy Connolly on Radio 4 this morning on his battle with Parkinson’s and how he’d still like to do stand up comedy even though he can never tour again. One of the greatest ever comedians but more importantly a great man. Bless him."

Connolly's on-air interview comes at the same time he sat down with the Telegraph to open up about his perceptions of death and how he now looks at it from a "practical point of view".

"There’s a great sense of relief about doing that – a feeling of release," he penned.

Billy Connolly

Billy Connolly is releasing a new book


Connolly went on to admit that despite his ailments, he "never ever felt close to dying" but he has mused over the preparation for when he does pass away.

"I haven’t made up my mind about my burial place, but I’m thinking that instead of a headstone, a table on an island in Loch Lomond for fishermen to picnic on would be nice.

"I used to think about death, and about the life I led, and would ask myself, ‘How will I be held responsible for it when I come to judgment before God?’

"I don’t believe that any more, although the whole thing is still a mystery to me," Connolly wrote.

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