In 2013, Billy Connolly announced that he has Parkinson’s disease and cancer, but since then, he has been given the all clear from cancer. Unfortunately due to the Parkinson’s disease, he has been forced to give up playing his banjo and his guitar. The disease has affected his left hand making it impossible for him to carry on playing the instruments. He announced the news as he is preparing for a new ITV programme travelling by rail across America.
“I’m starting a documentary series in a month’s time following the railways around America. I’m going to festivals and state fairs and all that“, he explained. “I’ve been longing to do it for a long time. The only trouble is that we’re going to bluegrass festivals and I’ve got Parkinson’s Disease and it’s really affected my left hand and I can’t play the banjo or guitar any more, but I’ll join in on the singing at least. It’s been a rough go between that and the cancer. I kept telling my wife that haemorrhoids couldn’t be far behind“.
Connolly has always loved singing and playing his instruments and he used to be a folk singer before turning to comedy. His new TV programme will be launched later on this year. Watch Billy Connolly performing Cripple Creek below.