Fans have paid tribute to Scottish funnyman Billy Connolly after he announced his retirement from live performing.
According to The Guardian, the veteran comedian, who announced he was battling the incurable brain disease Parkinson’s in 2013, told Britain’s Radio Times magazine he would no longer perform live due to the condition.
Tributes poured in on social media after the news broke, with fans describing how Billy, who is nicknamed The Big Yin, had delighted and inspired them.
Fellow British comic Omid Djalili wrote on Twitter: “Big Yin retires from stand up. Man still got things to say. A mind and spirit that will never die.”
Artist Suman Kaur, who once painted his portrait, added: “So that’s it Billy Connolly is retiring. This guy has made me laugh so much one time I thought my lungs had inverted. It was a pleasure to paint him and be part of his lifetime exhibition.”
Others thanked the 76-year-old star, who appeared alongside Judi Dench in the acclaimed period drama “Mrs Brown”, for making them laugh over a career spanning more than five decades and for his charity work, which earned him a knighthood last year (2017).
In the Radio Times interview he also said he had tried using cannabis to treat his brain disease but wasn’t keen on the effects of the drug, and hit out at his old pal, U.K. chat show host Michael Parkinson, for claiming his condition meant he could no longer recognise friends.
“I wasn’t disappointed, it just made my life a bit difficult,” he said of Michael’s comments. “People feeling sorry for me, I don’t like that.”
Billy will continue to record TV shows, and has a new show, “Billy Connolly’s Ultimate World Tour”, debuting later this month. The programme will feature the star travelling around Florida, where he now lives, and reminiscing about his past travels.
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