Billy Connolly suffered a near death experience during the filming of his new television show.
In Billy Connolly’s Tracks Across America, the 73-year-old comedian and actor, who suffers from Parkinson’s disease, travels from Chicago to New York for the new ITV series. However, when he was showering in a train cubicle on his journey, he slipped and almost caused himself a major injury.
He tells the camera in the first episode of the show, airing on Friday night (01Apr16): “I tried to take a shower, I thought I must take a shower on a train. But I nearly broke my bloody neck. I was trundling along and skidding around.
“As you probably know, I’ve got Parkinson’s disease. People with Parkinson’s disease should not have showers on trains. In much the same way as Vietnam veterans shouldn’t go to firework displays in swamps.”
Billy’s admission comes after his wife Pamela Stephenson revealed her husband was doing well in coping with the disease.But she admitted she has been struggling herself to see her spouse struggle to come to terms with the diagnosis.
She wrote in Woman & Home magazine: “To say Billy’s diagnosis of Parkinson’s was a shock is an understatement. No one in our family really knew what it meant.
“To be honest, we still don’t – because people seem to have idiosyncratic responses to the disease, and its course cannot be accurately predicted.
“This must be one of the most difficult challenges. There is no doubt he has been shaken psychologically by the idea of having a creeping disease for which there is no cure.”
Pamela continued to reveal that the Parkinson’s is on Billy’s left side, meaning that as he is right-handed, it has had little impact physically on him as yet.
“Unless I’d been told it was a Parkinson’s effect, I wouldn’t have noticed that he blinked less,” she continued. “Even now, I rarely notice his hand shaking – and we have been informed that the disease is on his left side, a blessing for a right-handed person.
“Even Billy’s specialist remarked that the average person would never know he had it.”
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