Billy Connolly admits feeling ‘out of step’ as he gives health update on Parkinson’s disease: 'Being unwell is strange'

Billy Connolly admits feeling ‘out of step’ as he gives health update on Parkinson’s disease: 'Being unwell is strange'

Billy Connolly on his previous book release

Lauren Williams

By Lauren Williams

Published: 08/02/2024

- 10:48

Billy Connolly was diagnosed with Parkinson’s and prostate cancer on the same day back in 2013

Billy Connolly has given an update on his health as he continues to battle Parkinson’s disease and admitted he feels “strange” being unwell.

The comedian and actor is very vocal when it comes to discussing his illness and keeps his fans updated on his ever changing condition.

When he first received his diagnosis back in 2013, he also found out that he had prostate cancer but was later given the all clear on.

Due to his condition and deterioration, Connolly retired from live performances five years later and took a step back from doing any major jobs.

Connolly lives in Key West, Florida, where the warm weather and dry climate allows him to manage his Parkinson’s disease a lot easier.

The degenerative condition causes tremors and stiffness and can impact memory and speech, something his wife Pamela Stephenson helps him to control.

Billy Connolly

Billy Connolly was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease back in 2013


Connolly recently discussed how he felt towards his condition and explained: “Being unwell is strange. Everybody else is OK and you’ve got this thing that’s wrong... you’re out of step.”

He reminisced about his days as an apprentice welder during his UKTV show Billy Connolly Does… and added: “The noise.

“I’d never heard noise as loud as that. The pneumatic guns cutting the metal. I’m paying for it now with my hearing aids.”

As well as his memory and speech, Connolly has also suffered issues with his sense of smell and controlling his balance.

Billy Connolly and Pamela Stephenson

Billy is looked after his wife Pamela


Back in September last year, Connolly suffered a series of falls and said: “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 the symptoms have come and gone away. It's funny, that fall I had when I landed on my jaw reminded me of a thing I used to do on stage.”

Connolly also takes pride in the fact that he has been sober for 40 years but admits he still has to be cautious.

He noted: “I was waiting for a porridge royale, wondering what it included, and when it came, I had a spoonful – and it was porridge made with whisky! I’ll never forget it.

Billy Connolly

Billy Connolly admitted being unwell is "strange"


“Every nerve in my body went ‘That’s it! Ha, Now you’re talking! Get it down you!’ When you give up drinking, your body goes on guard.

“So as soon as you taste it, your body goes ‘Stop, nee-naw nee-naw’. I said to the waitress, you will have to get me some regular porridge.”

Connolly’s show Billy Connolly Does… gives viewers unprecedented access to the star at his home and is a mix of jokes, shaggy dog tales and unique wisdom with classic standup.

Series three recently began and is airs every Thursday from 9pm on Gold.

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