Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 September 2014

Connolly 'doing incredibly well'

Billy Connolly was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 2013

Billy Connolly could have had Parkinson's disease for around 10 years before it was diagnosed, his wife has revealed.

Pamela Stephenson, 64, said that she had noticed her husband's hand shaking for many years, but assumed that he had spent too long playing the banjo.

Comedian Billy, 71, has previously told how he was diagnosed with both prostate cancer and Parkinson's disease on the same day.

Now Pamela has told Radio 5 live that the star is "doing incredibly well".

She said: "He's been ill and it was a huge shock for him. For someone who's been healthy his whole life, to suddenly hear that he had two major problems in a week. He had cancer, he's got Parkinson's....

"But thank God his Parkinson's is so mild he will never really have the kind of symptoms that many people associate with Parkinson's, as far as we know."

She added: "He's probably had it for 10 years, so it's very, very slowly progressing... There are different strains of Parkinson's that I'm learning about. "

The Not The Nine O'Clock News star added: "I've actually noticed his hand shaking for many, many years... I used to think he was playing the banjo a bit too much... I think it's been there for a long time."

She said that it had been a difficult time "for the whole family".

"But Billy's one of those people who doesn't like going to the doctor so of course he's going to hear some bad news when he went...," she added.

"He's his curmudgeonly, lovable self and dealt with it the way you would imagine him to deal with it."

Pamela said that her husband did not need medication for Parkinson's because his symptoms were so mild, and while at one time she thought that he might not be able to perform "t here are no problems with his memory".

Billy, who has been given the all-clear following treatment for prostate cancer, has previously described how he received the news that he had cancer and Parkinson's disease on the same day .

"On the Monday I got hearing aids, on the Tuesday I got pills for heartburn which I have to take all the time.

"And on the Wednesday I got news that I had prostate cancer and Parkinson's disease.

"They told me on the phone, they said, 'Look we've had the result and it's cancer'. And I said, 'Oh nobody's ever said that to me before'," he told an ITV documentary.

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Nightlife Galleries

More

Latest Entertainment News

Latest Music News

Latest Film & TV News

Latest Eating Out News

Horoscopes

Your Horoscopes by Russell Grant

Virgo:

Spending time on your own will be rewarding. You're an extremely conscientious person who is hyperaware of your surroundings. Sometimes this sensitivity can inhibit you from doing what you really want. You're afraid of offending people with your bold ideas. Instead of repressing your instincts, obey them. If you've developed a romantic interest in someone special, make your move. Playing the aggressor will boost your confidence. Keep your conversations light and playful.More