ITV to air a Billy Connolly special

Billy Connolly
Billy Connolly Image credit:

Sir Billy Connolly has announced he will make a public goodbye to his stand-up career in a forthcoming ITV special.

The comedian revealed in March his Parkinsons disease was deteriorating and his brain now ‘works differently’.

During the one-hour TV programme famous fans such as Sir Lenny Henry, Sir Elton John and Sir Paul McCartney will all play tribute to Billy.

Connolly himself will be filming from his home in Florida Keys and there will be an interview from Billy’s wife Pamela Stephenson discussing her husband’s private life.

The show will also include unseen footage and some of the comedian’s famous jokes.

Sir Billy, 77, told Sky News: ‘I’m finished with stand-up – it was lovely and it was lovely being good at it. It was the first thing I was ever good at.’

‘I get upset because certain things go wrong with you, your brain goes adrift, and it affects your body,’ he added of his Parkinson’s affecting his ability to perform.

‘So you walk differently, you walk like a drunk man sometimes, and you’re frightened you’ll be judged on it.’

ITV producers said: 'Sir Billy Connolly recently announced that he was officially stepping back from live stand-up performance.

'To mark this major moment in comedy history, this star-studded one-hour special celebrates Billy's anarchic genius and life-affirming brand of humour.

'There are also unique new insights from the woman who knows Billy best - his wife and soulmate, Pamela Stephenson.'

'His A-list fans will share their memories of Billy, send him personal messages and pick their all-time highlights from his glorious comedy catalogue. The man himself will react to their choices and reveal his own favourites.'

'Billy Connolly: It's Been A Pleasure is a definitive celebration of an all-time great. An uplifting, emotional and hilarious hour in the company of the legendary Big Yin at his entertaining best. It will make you laugh. It may even make you cry. A fitting send-off for a stand-up megastar.'

Billy’s Parkinson’s disease was diagnoised when he underwent treatment for early-stage prostate cancer in 2013.

Billy Connolly: It’s Been A Pleasure will be shown on ITV soon.