BILLY CONNOLLY’S wife, Pamela Stephenson, has opened up about the comedian’s Parkinson’s disease, saying that the Big Yin is now making light of the degenerative condition.
Connolly, 73, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2013, but has continued to work despite a prostate cancer scare that year.
Stephenson, a former comedienne-turned-author and psychologist, said: “He was upset but after a while began to joke about it. He now talks about carrying an ‘invisible raincoat’ – referring to how his arm goes into a crooked position as if he is carrying a garment. All in all, we are enormously blessed because Billy is actually doing really well.
“He trains hard in the gym, continues to tour, to do movies and TV series and is, frankly, as funny as he’s ever been.”
The 66-year-old, speaking to Woman & Home magazine, has also said she stays away from his stand-up shows – because she suspects that she is part of his routine.
“He hates me showing up when he’s on tour. I imagine that’s because on stage he’s often funny at my expense. B******!”
Later, she said: “There is no doubt he has been shaken psychologically by the idea of having a creeping disease for which there is no cure. But physically we have seen very little change.
“Even now, I rarely notice his hand shaking and the disease is on his left side – a blessing for a right-handed person.”