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I’d like to sleep with the fishes… Billy Connolly says he wants memorial table on Loch Lomond

© Jaimie Gramston / 7 Wonder ProductionsBilly Connolly
Billy Connolly

The great and good are often remembered after they die with a headstone, perhaps a plaque, or sometimes even a statue.

But Billy Connolly, one of the most popular Scots of the modern era, he wants his memorial to be a lot more useful.

The funnyman has revealed he’d like to be commemorated with a stone table in the middle of Loch Lomond.

He revealed he’d like his memorial to be “practical”, and would be a gift to fisherman on the Loch.

Glaswegian Billy revealed his wishes in his new book, Tall Tales and Wee Stories, a collection of his stand-up routines and observations.

The book has been dubbed a celebration of his life, and was accompanied by a cinema release of a movie, The Sex Life Of Bandages.

The tribute was a box office hit.

Billy has been battling Parkinson’s Disease after revealing he had the condition in 2013.

Last week he revealed his fond memories of the start of his stage career in the 60s and 70s.

“I look back on it with great joy,” he said. “It was a great bunch of people – folkies, jazzers, poets, storytellers, people that knew obscure music and played weird instruments, all of them vaguely hippy and strange. It was totally unique.

“I’ve always admired ordinary people – the electrician, the nurse, the secretary. You’ll see them in the pub, roaring with laughter, not a comedian among them.

“Ordinary people are great at comedy. They wish they could do it – they don’t know they can.”

“They have a saying in Scotland, ‘You’re a long time looking at the lid.’ And of course it’s true.

“So, I say: embrace the here and now and make the most of the moment, because you’ll have a long time looking at the lid.

“I’ve been asked how I would like to be remembered, and my answer is: as a good laugh. ‘Here lies Billy Connolly: A good laugh.’ That’ll do me.

“And instead of having a stone somewhere to commemorate my life, I would rather have it made into a table on an island in Loch Lomond.

“Somewhere for the fisherman guys to have their tea on. Somewhere to put their cups on. That would be practical. Like at picnics.

“Picnics are uncomfortable things; your arse is at the same level as your cup. Eventually you’ll knock your cup over and spill it all over your sandwiches.

“So, I think it would be nice to have a wee table for the fishermen. A useful gift from me to them.

“Growing old, it’s hard, of course it is. But the good things are still there. The love you have for people is still there. And, with a bit of luck, the love they have for you is still there, too.

“And I’m very lucky, in as much as I’ve made a bit of a mark. And that makes me think, ‘Well, I must have done something right.’ That keeps you company when you’re older.

“The fact that, when you were creative, you created well.

“That thought is a great companion. So, what else should I tell you in conclusion? I think only this.

“Acting your age is about as sensible as acting your street number. You can volunteer to take life seriously, but it’s going to get you anyway.

“It’s going to win against you in the end. It’s harsh, and you can either break down and complain about how miserable your life is, or you can have a go at it and survive.

“Always look to laugh. Nothing else will ever keep you going like laughter. So, thank you for laughing with me. And do keep it up.”


From the book: … And in the end

“They have a saying in Scotland, ‘You’re a long time looking at the lid.’ And of course it’s true.

“So, I say: embrace the here and now and make the most of the moment, because you’ll have a long time looking at the lid.

“I’ve been asked how I would like to be remembered, and my answer is: as a good laugh. ‘Here lies Billy Connolly: A good laugh.’ That’ll do me.

“And instead of having a stone somewhere to commemorate my life, I would rather have it made into a table on an island in Loch Lomond.

“Somewhere for the fisherman guys to have their tea on. Somewhere to put their cups on. That would be practical. Like at picnics.

“Picnics are uncomfortable things; your arse is at the same level as your cup. Eventually you’ll knock your cup over and spill it all over your sandwiches.

“So, I think it would be nice to have a wee table for the fishermen. A useful gift from me to them.

“Growing old, it’s hard, of course it is. But the good things are still there. The love you have for people is still there. And, with a bit of luck, the love they have for you is still there, too.

“And I’m very lucky, in as much as I’ve made a bit of a mark. And that makes me think, ‘Well, I must have done something right.’ That keeps you company when you’re older.

“The fact that, when you were creative, you created well.

“That thought is a great companion. So, what else should I tell you in conclusion? I think only this.

“Acting your age is about as sensible as acting your street number. You can volunteer to take life seriously, but it’s going to get you anyway.

“It’s going to win against you in the end. It’s harsh, and you can either break down and complain about how miserable your life is, or you can have a go at it and survive.

“Always look to laugh. Nothing else will ever keep you going like laughter. So, thank you for laughing with me. And do keep it up.”


Tall Tales And Wee Stories by Billy Connolly is published by John Murray Press, priced £20. Available now.