Sir Billy Connolly has revealed he has learned to ‘hypnotise’ his hand into becoming still when he begins shaking due to his Parkinson’s disease.
The veteran comedian, 79, also known as The Big Yin, was diagnosed with the disease in 2013 before retiring from live performances five years later and has since been open and honest about the limitations he faces.
In his new interview with The 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.
New skills: Sir Billy Connolly has revealed he has learned to ‘hypnotise’ his hand into becoming still when he begins shaking due to his Parkinson’s disease (pictured 2018)
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.’
He admitted that the thing that ‘cheeses him off most’ is that he can no longer write. He explained how he used to love penning letters but now his writing is illegible.
The actor owns a collection of fountain pens and ink to go with them but is no longer able to use them. Billy added that he confronts condition by saying: ‘Bugger off, I’m going to get on with my life.’
Open and honest: The veteran comedian, 79, also known as The Big Yin, was diagnosed with the disease in 2013 before retiring from live performances five years later
The Scottish stand-up also said he dislikes Parkinson’s help groups.
WHAT IS PARKINSON’S? THE INCURABLE DISEASE THAT STRUCK BOXER MUHAMMAD ALI
Parkinson’s disease affects one in 500 people, including about one million Americans.
It causes muscle stiffness, slowness of movement, tremors, sleep disturbance, chronic fatigue, an impaired quality of life and can lead to severe disability.
It is a progressive neurological condition that destroys cells in the part of the brain that controls movement.
Sufferers are known to have diminished supplies of dopamine because nerve cells that make it have died.
There is currently no cure and no way of stopping the progression of the disease, but hundreds of scientific trials are underway to try and change that.
The disease claimed the life of boxing legend Muhammad Ali in 2016.
He explained how people find help from others by meeting for lunch to talk about the disease but said he can’t imagine anything worse, insisting he doesn’t want it to be the ‘main topic’ of his 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 says he feels he is watching someone else who he doesn’t relate to, adding that he likes the feeling.
His latest chat comes shortly after Billy made a very cheeky quip about his sex life in a hilarious video posted by his sexologist wife Pamela Stephenson.
The comedian, 78, joked that he only lasted ‘seven seconds’ in the bedroom while recording his new audiobook Windswept & Interesting.
In a clip posted by Pamela, 71, captioned: ‘Billy’s talking about me again’ Billy said: ‘My wife’s a sexologist – a rather limiting subject, I think. How can you study something that only lasts seven seconds?’
‘My own sexual demands are extremely simple: I like the missionary position – standing in a cook pot wearing a safari suit, looking towards Africa. Is that too much to ask??!’
The star, who has been married to Pamela since 1989, later discussed how bad he was at ‘chatting women up’ when he was single.
He said: ‘I have always had a problem with sex. Not the sex itself so much – more the beginning. I was never any good at chatting women up. I didn’t know when it was working. Sex is an important thing. Terrible stuff happens when people are f***less.
Troubles: The comedian says he misses writing letters and owns a collection of fountain pens and ink he can no longer use
‘When a woman was on my case I didn’t see it. I couldn’t get the message. My friends used to tell me: ‘She’s mad for you.’ ‘Who?’ ‘The one over there.’ ‘What one?’
Billy and Pamela now live in the Florida Keys as he battles Parkinson’s Disease.
Sir Billy – a former shipyard worker – has already written two books – Tall Tales and Wee Stories and Made in Scotland – that touched on his life growing up in Glasgow.
Windswept & Interesting tells the complete story of his eventful existence that propelled him from being a welder on the Clyde docks via a stint as a folk singer to become one of the world’s best-loved comics.
Read the full interview in Radio Times, out now.
Couple: The star, who has been married to Pamela since 1989, later discussed how bad he was at ‘chatting women up’ when he was single (pictured 2012)
Read more: The full interview with Billy is available to read on the new issues of Radio Times, out now