Billy Connolly not afraid of death

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  • Billy Connolly
    Billy Connolly
    Scottish actor and comedian
Billy Connolly has Parkinson's disease credit:Bang Showbiz
Billy Connolly has Parkinson's disease credit:Bang Showbiz

Billy Connolly "thinks about death" every day.

The 79-year-old comedy legend - who was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 2013 - insisted he isn't "frightened" of passing away because it's just the "next step" at the end of a long life.

He said: "I’ve got absolutely no regrets. I feel great. I think about death a lot. Not an excessive amount. I think about it every day.

"I’ve seen people die and it’s OK. It’s not painful. You just go away. You exhale and it’s gone. It’s nothing to be frightened of. It’s just the next step.

“Buddhists think you come back as a recreation of someone else. I don’t know — I’ll settle for whatever they’ve got.”

Billy's condition made him quit stand-up comedy because he didn't think he was as "sharp" any more.

He told The Sun newspaper: "You have to have a Glasgow attitude and say, ‘Oh you think you have me beat? Well, try this for size!’

“I just deal with it. If I fall, I fall. I made the decision to stand back from stand-up because of my illness. It was affecting the work that I do. The sharpness was gone. It rounded all the corners."

And although he's also had to give up a number of his favourite pastimes, Billy is determined to keep a brave face for his five adult children - two with first wife Iris and three with his spouse of 32 years, Pamela Stephenson - because he doesn't want them to think he's a "dead loss".

He added: “Parkinson’s has taken a lot from me. I can’t play the banjo any more. It’s just a noise. I can’t yodel any more — I used to like yodelling. I can’t smoke cigars.

“As it goes along it’s taken more and more of what I like. And it’s kinda painful. I have to behave in a certain way so my children don’t think I’m a dead loss. I want them to think: ‘He does well with what he’s got.’”

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