Home News TV Listings Movies Music Video Photos Radio Book Club Life & Style

News

Billy Connolly fan spotted Parkinson's disease

1 of 1 Billy Connolly -
Billy Connolly - "It was the strangest thing of all."

Billy Connolly realised he was suffering from Parkinson's disease after a fan brought it to his attention.

The 71-year-old comedian revealed how a chance encounter with a Tasmanian doctor, who noticed a problem with the way Billy walked, led to an almost instant diagnosis of Parkinson's disease.

Connolly, who is married to psychologist Pamela Stephenson and has five children from his two marriages, told a US radio station: "It was the strangest thing of all. I was walking through the lobby and every time I had gone through there was a crowd of boys and girls and a couple of adults. It turned out they were dancers from Australia.

"The guy who was in charge of them came over to me one day and said, 'Billy, I'm a big fan, I'm from Tasmania'.

"He said, 'I'm a surgeon and I have been watching you walking, you have a strange gait'. That was the way he put it.

"He said 'You're showing distinct signs of early onset Parkinson's disease, see your doctor'. I think it was the way I held myself when I was walking. Then they did blood tests and various other little bits and pieces and told me I had it."

add your own comment
User contributions and/or comments do not, unless specifically stated, represent the views of RTÉ.ie or RTÉ.
Click here for Terms of use