Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Billy Connolly: ‘Parkinson’s is the first thing I think about in the morning, so I make the second thing more interesting’

Billy Connolly receives the award for Special Recognition from Dustin Hoffman at the National Television Awards (Alan Chapman/Getty Images)
Billy Connolly receives the award for Special Recognition from Dustin Hoffman at the National Television Awards (Alan Chapman/Getty Images)

Asked how he was managing the condition, he replied: “It’s managing me. It’s kind of weird, it creeps along and crawls along. It’s the first thing I think about in the morning, so I try to make the second thing I think about more interesting.”

The comedian, who was diagnosed in 2012, said on stage that his 50 year career had been a “grand old rock and roll all the way”.

Hoffman, who had flown in from the US to present the special achievement award, said: “I’m delighted to be here tonight to pay tribute to a man whose work I’ve always admired and whose company I always enjoy.”

He continued: “He has the gift of inviting everyone uncritically, unconditionally into his world and he exposes truth. No-one looks at the world the way he does. He transforms the ordinary into the extraordinary, he elevates the mundane into the magnificent in the bravest of fashion. My friend is an artist in the truest sense of the word.”

Hoffman directed the Scottish star in 2012’s Quarter and said: “It’s been my good fortune to direct him in a film and a great honour to count him as a friend.”

Connolly, who had been honoured with a special performance of his favourite song The Skye Boat Song, looked emotional as he took to the stage although he could not help cracking a few jokes.

He said: “This is the best laxative I’ve ever known in my life. I’d like to thank the Catholic Church for the rhythm method of birth control without which I wouldn’t be here at all.”

Billy Connolly with his Award for Special Recognition (Anthony Harvey/Getty Images)
Billy Connolly with his Award for Special Recognition (Anthony Harvey/Getty Images)

However he risked being upstaged by comedian Peter Kay who walked up on stage and handed over his award after Connolly referenced the fact that Kay had dedicated his earlier comedy win to him, but did not give him the trophy.

“Peter Kay you should have given me that thing, you cheapo. That guy dedicated it to me and then took it away, b******,” joked Connolly.

Connolly added: “There’s so many people, I have to thank my management, my agency, my parents and my lovely daughters, who are here.

“To Dustin for putting me in his movie, thank you all from the bottom of my heart. I’d like to particularly thank British comedians, the standard of which is rising all the time, from Chic Murray and Max Wall right through to Reeves and Mortimer. I love you all and thank you very much from the bottom of my heart.”

The comedian wore tartan trousers to the awards featuring a strong warning about global warming.

It read: “We are parasites. Earth’s parasite. We multiply rapidly and eat mother earth away. If mother dies, parasites die with her. That is why we must save the earth.”

READ MORE

Billy Connolly on fighting Parkinson’s disease and the death of friend Robin Williams