Billy Connolly reveals he can no longer use his left hand due to Parkinson's disease 1

Billy Connolly reveals he can no longer use his left hand due to Parkinson’s disease

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‘My left hand is no use to me anymore’: Billy Connolly reveals he has quit playing musical instruments after Parkinson’s disease impacted his motor functions

  • The presenter, 79, was diagnosed with the brain disorder which leads to shaking, stiffness and difficulties with walking and balance in 2013
  • Speaking on BBC Radio 2’s Steve Wright In The Afternoon, the comedian said he thinks about sick children in order to not feel too sorry for himself
  • He said: ‘I had a bad day today, when I was coming on the way here, I was walking like a drunk man, but it’s cured itself so I’m quite happy’
  • Billy added: ‘It’s a peculiar disease, it strikes when you least expect it. My left hand is no use to me anymore, so I don’t play my instruments anymore’ 


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Billy Connolly has revealed he can no longer use his left hand to play musical instruments due to his Parkinson’s disease.

The presenter, 79, was diagnosed with the brain disorder which leads to shaking, stiffness and difficulties with walking and balance in 2013.

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Speaking on BBC Radio 2’s Steve Wright In The Afternoon, the comedian said he thinks about sick children in order to not feel too sorry for himself.

Health: Billy Connolly has revealed he can no longer use his left hand to play musical instruments due to his Parkinson's disease

Health: Billy Connolly has revealed he can no longer use his left hand to play musical instruments due to his Parkinson’s disease

He said: ‘I try not to feel sorry for myself. I do it by thinking of children who are sick, and they handle it, so the least I can do is get on with it.

‘I have good days and bad days. I had a bad day today, when I was coming on the way here, I was walking like a drunk man, but it’s cured itself so I’m quite happy.

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‘It’s a peculiar disease, it strikes when you least expect it. My left hand is no use to me anymore, so I don’t play my instruments anymore.’

Billy discusses his health battle in his new ITV documentary My Absolute Pleasure where he told how he can’t play the banjo anymore.

Diagnosis: The presenter, 79, was diagnosed with the brain disorder which leads to shaking, stiffness and difficulties with walking and balance in 2013 (pictured in 2013)

Diagnosis: The presenter, 79, was diagnosed with the brain disorder which leads to shaking, stiffness and difficulties with walking and balance in 2013 (pictured in 2013)

He said: ‘I just get on without them. You have to give up things. It picks on you, it picks on the bits you like and gets rid of them.’

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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’.’ 

It comes after Billy recently told how he thinks about death every day after his diagnosis.

He told The Sun: ‘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.

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Interview: Speaking on BBC Radio 2's Steve Wright In The Afternoon, the comedian said he thinks about sick children in order to not feel too sorry for himself (pictured in 2017)

Interview: Speaking on BBC Radio 2’s Steve Wright In The Afternoon, the comedian said he thinks about sick children in order to not feel too sorry for himself (pictured in 2017)

‘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.’

Earlier this month, the star revealed he has learned to ‘hypnotise’ his hand into becoming still when he begins shaking.

The screen star, also known as The Big Yin, has been open and honest about the limitations he faces.

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In an interview with Radio Times, he explained that the progression of the disease means he is unable to write letters any more, however he proudly revealed that he is using ‘hypnosis’ to control his hands.

Sir Billy told the publication: ‘I’ve learnt to hypnotise my hand. I glare at it and it kinda quivers. I just stare at it, and eventually it stops. It’s quite a good trick. We love it.’

Reflecting on his condition, he added: ‘I’ve never tried to cover up the illness. I’m p**sed off with it. It won’t go away. People are kinda chained to it. But I try to be cheery.’

Billy said: 'I have good days and bad days. I had a bad day today, when I was coming on the way here, I was walking like a drunk man, but it's cured itself so I'm quite happy' (pictured in 2019)

Billy said: ‘I have good days and bad days. I had a bad day today, when I was coming on the way here, I was walking like a drunk man, but it’s cured itself so I’m quite happy’ (pictured in 2019)

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