Billy Connolly's best comedy routines to be published for first time

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Sir Billy Connolly’s most famous comedy routines are to be published in a book for the first time.

The comic has agreed on a deal with a publisher for a new book called Tall Tales And Wee Stories which will feature classic yarns such as The Last Supper, Jojoba Shampoo, Incontinence Pants and Shouting at Wildebeest.

Billy Connolly, who is suffering from Parkinson's disease, announced his retirement from stand-up last December. Picture: PA

Billy Connolly, who is suffering from Parkinson's disease, announced his retirement from stand-up last December. Picture: PA

Despite a 50-year stand-up career, the stories he tells on stage have not previously been released in written form.

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The book will be published in October by Two Roads.

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It comes after the Big Yin, who is suffering from Parkinson's disease, announced his retirement from stand-up last December.

Connolly, 76, will be writing a new introduction for the book, which will be illustrated by his artwork.

He said: "I was a storyteller long before I was a comedian. Coming from Glasgow, it's weird, I don't really tell jokes, like Irish jokes and all that, I tell wee stories.

"I’ve been asked many times to put them down in a book and I’ve always refused.

"It didn’t seem right because as long as I was still performing live then I was still playing around with my stories – pulling them apart, twisting them around, improvising and improving.

"But in December of last year, I decided to retire from live stand-up. So, this feels like the right moment to put these stories down, once and for all. It’s always been a pleasure talking to you. I hope now it’ll be a pleasure reading me."

The blurb for the book reads: "Billy's routines always felt spontaneous. He improvised, embellished and digressed as he went: a two-minute anecdote could become a 20-minute routine by the next night of a tour. And he brought a beautiful sense of the absurd to his shows as he riffed on holidays, alcohol, the crucifixion, or naked bungee jumping.

"But Billy's comedy could be laced with anger too. He hated pretentiousness and called out hypocrisy where ever he saw it.

"He loved to shock, and his startling appearance gave him license to say anything he damn well pleased about sex, politics or religion. It was only because he was so likeable that he got it away. Billy had the popular touch. His comedy spanned generations and different social tribes in a way that few others have ever managed."

Nick Davies, managing director at John Murray Press who acquired the rights for publishing house Two Roads, said: "As his many millions of fans will know, Billy's stories can be rude, warm-hearted, anarchic, joyful, angry, far-fetched, down-to-earth and everything in between.

"They are also beautifully constructed, brilliantly paced and deeply funny.

"I've written to Billy at various points over the last fifteen years to ask if he would bring these stories to the printed page and I'm thrilled that he has finally agreed. Tall Tales is an absolute treat of a book that will delight readers everywhere."

Born in Anderston, Glasgow, Connolly worked as a welder in the Govan shipyards before finding fame as a comedian.

In a book published last year, he revealed the toll that Parkinson's disease has taken on his life, having being diagnosed in 2012, and said he has put himself forward as a stem-cell research "guinea pig" to find a cure for the disease.