Billy Connolly on how he deals with shaking from Parkinson’s disease

The 79-year-old comedian, also known as The Big Yin, was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 2013.

Billy Connolly on how he deals with shaking from Parkinson’s disease John Stillwell via Getty Images
Big Yin: Billy Connolly has 'learned to hypnotise' his hand.

Sir Billy Connolly says he has learned to “hypnotise” his hand into becoming still when it shakes due to his Parkinson’s disease.

The 79-year-old comedian, also known as The Big Yin, was diagnosed with the disease in 2013 and retired from live performances five years later.

He has previously told how its progression means he is unable to write letters any more.

Sir Billy told Radio Times: “I’ve learnt to hypnotise my hand. I glare at it and it kinda quivers.

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“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 pissed off with it. It won’t go away. People are kinda chained to it. But I try to be cheery.”

Sir Billy said the thing that “cheeses me off most” is that he can no longer write.

“I loved writing letters, but now my writing is illegible,” he said.

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“My collection of fountain pens and ink is redundant. It’s a pain in the bum.

“You confront it by saying ‘Bugger off, I’m going to get on with my life.’”

The Scottish stand-up also said he disliked Parkinson’s help groups.

He said: “It’s weird, it’s a kind of social disease. They seem to like meeting up, having lunch.

“I can’t imagine talking about it all day. I don’t want it being the main topic of my life.”

Sir Billy, who has written an autobiography called Windswept And Interesting since retiring from stand-up, said he had been watching his old performances back and enjoying the jokes.

He said: “I like it, I really do. It’s like watching somebody else. I don’t relate to it. It’s like I’m disembodied; it’s a lovely feeling.

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“I was watching the Wildebeest sketch and roaring with laughter, which is really weird. I’m separated from it that much; the more so because I can’t do it any more.”

Read the full interview in Radio Times, out now.