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Billy Connolly receives cancer treatment and is diagnosed with Parkinson's

The much-loved comedian underwent surgery for prostate cancer and has also been diagnosed with the initial symptoms of Parkinson’s disease according to a spokeswoman.

Billy Connolly arriving at The EE British Academy Film Awards 2013 in February.
Billy Connolly arriving at The EE British Academy Film Awards 2013 in February.
Image: PA//Doug Peters/EMPICS Entertainment

COMEDIAN AND ACTOR Billy Connolly has had surgery for prostate cancer and is being treated for the “initial symptoms” of Parkinson’s disease.

The 70-year-old star, who has built a film career after success as a comic, will continue to work in TV and on stage. He is also planning to go ahead with a tour of New Zealand next year according to his spokeswoman who also said recent surgery was successful:

Billy Connolly recently underwent minor surgery in America after being diagnosed with the very early stages of prostate cancer. The operation was a total success, and Billy is fully recovered. In addition, Billy has been assessed as having the initial symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, for which he is receiving the appropriate treatment.

“Billy has been assured by experts that the findings will in no way inhibit or affect his ability to work, and he will start filming a TV series in the near future, as well as undertaking an extensive theatrical tour of New Zealand in the new year.”

Connolly, who is affectionately  referred to as ‘The Big Yin’ is his native Scotland, was a a former shipyard welder in Glasgow who became a highly successful folk singer before earning worldwide acclaim as a stand-up comic.

He has been famed for his countless TV appearances since the 1970s, particularly on the BBC’s Parkinson chat show and as a guest on The Late Late Show in Ireland.

Connolly made his cinematic breakthrough in the 1997 Oscar-nominated film “Mrs Brown” opposite Judi Dench and has appeared on screen numerous times since.

Additional reporting by Rónán Duffy

Read: One in three Irish men will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime>

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