Billy Connolly to be given Great Scot Award

BILLY Connolly is to be honoured with a Great Scot Award during next month’s Tartan Week celebrations in the US.

Billy Connolly will be honoured during Tartan Week in New York. Picture: Hemedia

The Big Yin will receive the prize from the National Trust for Scotland Foundation USA during a glittering fundraising ceremony in his adopted home city of New York.

The 72-year-old is being recognised for his outstanding service to promoting Scotland’s culture and heritage throughout his illustrious 50-year career.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Fellow Scot and actor Alan Cumming will present the award to the Scots comedian at the 8th Gala and Auction at the Metropolitan Club in New York.

Helen Sayles, chairwoman of the National Trust for Scotland Foundation USA, said they were thrilled to honour the Glasgow-born funnyman.

She said: “Billy Connolly truly embodies the title of Great Scot. He is a self-made man and proud Scot, whose extraordinary gifts, down-to-earth Scottish humor, and distinguished body of work in music, comedy, and film have warmed the hearts and minds of audiences worldwide.

“The National Trust for Scotland’s mission is to help preserve and conserve the natural, built, and cultural heritage that is significant to Scotland and the world. Billy is a fabulous ambassador of that mission.”

The National Trust for Scotland USA Foundation is based in Boston and was established in 2000 to support the work of the National Trust.

To date it has raised over Pounds 4 million to help the Trust carry out conservation of heritage sites in Scotland.

The Foundation hosts a gala every year during ‘Tartan Week’ in New York, entitled A Celebration of Scotland’s Treasures, and this takes the form of a dinner, a review of work of the NTS over the previous year, the ‘Great Scot’ awards presentation and a fund-raising auction followed by Scottish country dancing.

Attendees at the ceremony on April 9 will enjoy a cocktail reception and a Scottish-themed dinner, complete with an Address to the Haggis.

Previous winners of the Great Scot award include Cumming, author Alexander McCall-Smith, Christopher Forbes, Founder of Forbes Magazine, and the Duke of Buccleuch.

Connolly moved to New York in 2007 after buying an apartment in the city’s Flatiron district with his wife Pamela Stephenson.

He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2013 and had successful surgery for prostate cancer.

However he has continued to perform and has just completed a sell-out tour of Australia.