Billy Connolly climbs aboard his High Horse for Scottish tour
The Big Yin is back on the road following a series of high profile health scares
This article is from 2014.
When news of his illnesses broke last year, there was one thing that his fans knew for certain, if he ever managed to get back on the road and tour again, Billy Connolly would be using his personal crises for material. And sure enough, recent press quotes from his wife Pamela Stephenson suggest that now he’s fit enough to tackle a Scotland-wide tour, he’s been trying out routines about being diagnosed with Parkinson’s and prostate cancer.
While he might be in jovial mood at simply being able to take to the nation’s stages again, you can probably expect some storm or other to envelop him during his sold-out dates. In 2012, he was heavily criticised for walking off early during two shows in the north of England while in 2004, the row went global when he made remarks about the then-hostage Ken Bigley who was subsequently murdered by his Iraqi captors.
But the Big Yin’s overarching influence on this thing that we call modern stand-up comedy cannot be overestimated. Within the British industry and of the public at large, those polls choosing the top comedian ever more often than not have him at the number one spot. And on these very pages, our My Comedy Hero column is filled with those who either pick Connolly as their idol or mention him in reference to other nominees. Raymond Mearns, Michael McIntyre, Scott Agnew, Keara Murphy, Jason Cook, Mark Nelson and Jason Manford have all used this platform to eulogise the man.
So, be thankful that you have perhaps one last chance to see a true artist of our times hopping on and off his High Horse and delivering thoughtful and thought-provoking stand-up.
Perth Concert Hall, Wed 1 & Thu 2 Oct; Usher Hall, Edinburgh, Sat 4 – Mon 6, Wed 8, 15 & Thu 16 Oct; Caird Hall, Dundee, Sat 11, Mon 13 Oct.