He’s best known as the Big Yin and was recently named the most influential British comedian.
But Billy Connolly will switch focus to a smaller role after it was confirmed that he would play a dwarf in Peter Jackon’s movie adaptation of The Hobbit.
The Scottish comic and actor will play Dain Ironfoot, a great dwarf warrior, in the two-part film prequel to JRR Tolkien’s The Lord Of The Rings.
Jackson won huge acclaim and massive box office success for the original Rings trilogy.
He confirmed the casting for Ironfoot - a cousin of Thorin Oakenshield, to be played by Richard Armitage.
He told The Hollywood Reporter: “We could not think of a more fitting actor to play Dain Ironfoot, the staunchest and toughest of dwarves, than Billy Connolly, the Big Yin himself.
“With Billy stepping into this role, the cast of The Hobbit is now complete. We can’t wait to see him on the battlefield.”
Martin Freeman is starring in the lead role of hobbit Bilbo Baggins, while his Sherlock co-star Benedict Cumberbatch is also appearing as Smaug the dragon.
Actors reprising their roles from the previous Rings films include Sir Ian McKellen as wizard Gandalf, Cate Blanchett, Ian Holm, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving, Elijah Wood, Orlando Bloom and Andy Serkis.
The film has already begun shooting on location in New Zealand, where sets including the the hobbit land of The Shire have been built.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, will be released in cinemas on December 14 and the second film, The Hobbit: There And Back Again, will follow a year later
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