Billy Connolly mocked double diagnosis

29 April 2014 / 2 years 5 months ago

Billy Connolly blew a raspberry when he was diagnosed with both prostate cancer and Parkinson's disease on the same day.

The 71-year-old comedian was at home with wife Pamela Stephenson when his doctor called with the news, and he admits his first instinct was to laugh.

He recalled: "'I remember I went through to the bedroom to answer the phone, and Pamela was behind me - I thought she was going to catch me. She sort of held me, and I went, 'Oh, Jesus...'

"But when we went into the living room I went, 'Phrrhrht'. I think they're very closely related, deep despair and laughing."

Billy - who has been given the all-clear from cancer - doesn't want to rely on medication to control the symptoms of Parkinson's, a neurological disorder which affects the central nervous system and brain, so tries to keep his brain active by doing crosswords every day.

He explained in an interview with Radio Times magazine: "I've put myself on a strict regime of crossword books. They remind me of everything. I have to train my memory.

"I have got a notebook with all the words I tend to forget. It's the same ones cropping up again and again. "The drugs can increase the signs, give you the Parkinson's face - expressionless, sort of slack."

However, Billy - who doesn't have a will - insists it is currently "early days" with the disease. He added: "The doctor will put me back on them [the drugs] when the symptoms come back."

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