Sir Billy Connolly is planning on waving goodbye to his successful career as a stand-up comedian in an “uplifting and emotional” special on ITV.
Sir Billy, 77, is gearing up to star in ITV’s documentary dubbed Billy Connolly: It’s Been A Pleasure, from his home in Florida.
And although he announced his retirement plans back in March, he is hoping to bid a final farewell to stand-up later this year amid a battle with Parkinson’s disease.
He was diagnosed with the neurological condition in 2013 and announced his retirement from live performances five years later.
Sir Billy, known affectionately as The Big Yin, gave fans hope last year when he left the door open to a stage return.
However, the Scotsman has since confirmed his stand-up career is over and plans to have one last hurrah on the telly.
ITV’s show is set to feature the comedian’s “greatest stand-up moments, unseen performance footage and exclusive chats with some of Billy’s biggest famous fans”.
And there’ll be a lot of familiar faces too, as Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Elton John, Sir Lenny Henry, Dustin Hoffman, Russell Brand, Whoopi Goldberg, Aisling Bea and Sheridan Smith will all be making guest appearances.
The celebrities will take a look back at Billy’s renown 60-year career on stage, and discuss their stand-out moments from his material.
ITV producers said: “Sir Billy Connolly recently announced that he was officially stepping back from live stand-up performance.
“To mark this major moment in comedy history, this star-studded one-hour special celebrates Billy’s anarchic genius and life-affirming brand of humour.”
The producers went on: “There are also unique new insights from the woman who knows Billy best – his wife and soulmate, Pamela Stephenson.
“His A-list fans will share their memories of Billy, send him personal messages and pick their all-time highlights from his glorious comedy catalogue. The man himself will react to their choices and reveal his own favourites.”
“Billy Connolly: It’s Been A Pleasure is a definitive celebration of an all-time great. An uplifting, emotional and hilarious hour in the company of the legendary Big Yin at his entertaining best. It will make you laugh. It may even make you cry. A fitting send-off for a stand-up megastar.”
Back in March, Sir Billy told Sky News: “I’m finished with stand-up – it was lovely and it was lovely being good at it. It was the first thing I was ever good at.”
The Glaswegian comic was famous for his energetic presence on stage.
Symptoms of Parkinson’s disease include decreased mobility and difficulty speaking, leaving him unable to perform as he had in his pomp.
Sir Billy continued: “I’m always being asked to go to Parkinson’s things and spend time with Parkinson’s people, having lunch or something like that. And I don’t approve of it.
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