Belfast Telegraph

Big Yin 'blown away' by city honour

Comedian Billy Connolly said he was "completely blown away" to be given the Freedom of Glasgow.

Connolly, affectionately known as the Big Yin, was born and raised in the city. He began his working life in the Clyde shipyards but soon moved into entertainment with folk singing and comedy performances.

"This has taken my breath away," he said today as he received the honour.

"I am completely blown away. I am thrilled and I can't really put into words how I feel about it.

"Apparently I have to defend Glasgow if called to, which I am perfectly prepared to do and which I have done on many, many occasions in the past. But if I commit a crime and am flung in jail, I am entitled to a cell of my own, which I would like more than anything in the world."

Connolly has performed on stage for more than 30 years and has appeared in numerous films and TV series.

Lord Provost Bob Winter, who led calls for the city to recognise the performer for his contribution to comedy, film, music and his charity work, said: "Billy Connolly is arguably the world's best-known Glaswegian and is truly deserving of the Freedom of the City.

"Billy has been a great ambassador for the city. The 'Big Yin', as he is affectionately known, has moved seamlessly from folk music, to comedy and acting.

"But above all Billy Connolly has presented himself as a proud citizen of the City of Glasgow. In doing so he has shown the world the unique humour, generosity and resilience of Glaswegians."

Connolly received the honour at a ceremony at the City Chambers which was attended by his wife Pamela Stephenson and their daughter Scarlett.

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