Billy Connolly admits his Parkinson’s disease is ‘getting worse’ and laughs that new award predicted his death

Sir Billy Connolly joked on Tuesday that receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Edinburgh Television Festival makes him feel like he “should die”.

The 78-year-old comedian, who is currently battling exacerbating Parkinson’s disease, offered the ridicule in a rare interview with his wife, Dr. Pamela Stephenson Connolly, 71, at their home in Florida.

I feel I must die. Those things that last a lifetime, I feel like they know something I don’t,” Billy joked as he hinted that the tribute had foretold his death.

“Do they know something I don’t know?” Billy Connolly joked that his lifetime achievement award makes him feel like he “should be dead” as he admitted that his Parkinson’s disease is “getting worse” (pictured in 2012)

The joke comes as Bailey continues to battle the degenerative disease, Parkinson’s, after being diagnosed in 2013.

When asked in candid chat if his condition presents new challenges to his career, he said: “Not really, but the way I think, everything is a new challenge.

I’m barely getting ready, so I bring in unprepared and everything is a new challenge. It keeps your eyes open.

However, he admitted: “The challenges lately have been medical, they are getting worse.”

Tough: The morbid joke comes as Billy continues to battle Parkinson's disease after being diagnosed in 2013, after which he retreats from the stage to do more TV work (pictured in 2016)

Tough: The morbid joke comes as Billy continues to battle Parkinson’s disease after being diagnosed in 2013, after which he retreats from the stage to do more TV work (pictured in 2016)

Referring to his suffering, he added, ‘Did you notice that I was holding my left hand as we were going on? I started jumping.

“So I’m going to have to balance it out and see how bad it is, I don’t know, we’ll play it by ear.”

Last year, the comedian revealed he had come to grips with the fact that his Parkinson’s disease would eventually kill him, but said he’s still positive.

“You’ve got me,” he said, “you’ll understand me and you’ll be done, but that’s fine with me.”

Beloved: The comedian delivered sarcasm in a rare interview with his wife Dr. Pamela Stephenson Connolly at their Florida home (pictured together in 2016)

Beloved: The comedian delivered sarcasm in a rare interview with his wife Dr. Pamela Stephenson Connolly at their Florida home (pictured together in 2016)

Sir Bailey’s outrageous and painfully funny routines continued to emerge until dual diagnoses of cancer and Parkinson’s disease ended his brilliant live performances last year.

Born in a flat in Glasgow in 1942, orphaned at the age of four, and surviving horrific abuse at the hands of his family, Sir Bailey’s life is a remarkable success story against all odds.

The actor found his escape first as an apprentice laborer in the shipyards of the River Clyde, and later became a popular musician with a real talent for playing the banjo.

Note: Orphaned at the age of four, and surviving horrific abuse at the hands of his family, Sir Bailey's life is a remarkable success story against all odds (pictured in 1985)

Note: Orphaned at the age of four, and surviving horrific abuse at the hands of his family, Sir Bailey’s life is a remarkable success story against all odds (pictured in 1985)

A Star Is Born: It was an appearance on Michael Parkinson's chat show in 1975 ¿ and a particularly gruesome story that catapulted Billy from cult hero to national star

A Star Is Born: It was an appearance on Michael Parkinson’s chat show in 1975 – and one gruesome story in particular – that propelled Billy from cult hero to national star

But his ability to write stories, tell jokes and hold the audience in the palm of his hand is what really sets him apart.

As a young comedian, Sir Bailey broke all the rules and was brave and outspoken. But his attitude was filled with warmth, humility, and absurdity as well.

His striking “glam rock” theatrical appearance – in bathing suits, scissors suits and banana shoes – only added to his appeal.

It was a star-studded appearance on Michael Parkinson’s 1975 chat show – and one gruesome story in particular – that moved Sir Bailey from cult hero to national star.

Sir Bailey!  Award-winning TV shows, documentaries, world renown and Hollywood blockbusters followed, and the star was knighted in 2017 (pictured)

Sir Bailey! Award-winning TV shows, documentaries, world renown and Hollywood blockbusters followed, and the star was knighted in 2017 (pictured)

Dragged in tears: Sir Bailey announced his retirement after 50 years on standby last year but insisted he was in 'good health' despite his diagnosis.

Dragged in tears: Sir Bailey announced his retirement after 50 years on standby last year but insisted he was in ‘good health’ despite his diagnosis.

Award-winning TV shows, documentaries, world renown and Hollywood blockbusters followed, and the star was knighted in 2017.

The Scottish comedian met his wife Pamela on the set of the BBC comedy show Not The Nine O’Clock News in 1970 and they married in 1989.

Billy has two children, Jamie, 51, and Cara, 47, from his first marriage to Iris Brissage. He and Pamela Appuan to Daisy, 36, Amy, 34 and Scarlett, 32.

Since moving away from a standing pose, The Last Samurai star has continued to do TV shows, creating extraordinary graphics and writing.

What is Parkinson’s disease?

Parkinson’s disease affects 1 in 500 people, and around 127,000 people in the UK live with the condition.

The numbers also indicate that a million Americans are also suffering.

It causes muscle stiffness, slow movement, tremors, disturbed sleep, chronic fatigue, and poor quality of life and can lead to severe disability.

It is a progressive neurological condition that damages cells in the part of the brain that controls movement.

Sufferers are known to be deficient in the supply of dopamine because the neurons that make it have died.

There is currently no cure and no way to stop the progression of the disease, but hundreds of scientific trials are underway to try to change that.

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