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Sir Billy Connolly has confirmed that he won’t perform stand-up comedy again because of his Parkinson’s diagnosis.

The Scottish comedian, actor, and artist, who was knighted in 2017 for services to entertainment and charity, revealed in 2013 that he had been diagnosed with the degenerative disorder. He last embarked on a stand-up tour in 2017.

“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,” he told Sky News, adding that Parkinson’s has “made my brain work differently… and you need a good brain for comedy.”

Connolly, also known for acting roles in movies including Mrs Brown and The X-Files: I Want to Believe, said living with the disease sometimes makes him upset “because certain things go wrong, your brain goes adrift and affects your body, and so you walk differently, you walk like a drunk man sometimes.”

“And you’re frightened you’ll be judged on it. And you shake sometimes,” he added.

However, Connolly – who now works primarily as an artist – insisted stoically that he doesn’t let the disease rule his life, saying: “I don’t think you should let Parkinson’s define you and all your pals be Parkinson’s people. I don’t think it’s particularly good for you. So I don’t do it.”

Watch friends and collaborators including Doctor Who‘s David Tennant and his Mrs. Brown co-star Dame Judi Dench pay tribute to Connolly at the U.K.’s National Television Awards 2016, where he received the Special Recognition Award.

What is your favorite Sir Billy Connolly moment?

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Filed Under: Sir Billy Connolly
By Nick Levine