Back in 2013, Scottish comedian Billy Connolly revealed that he had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s and prostate cancer on the same day.
He has since been given the all-clear from cancer and will travel through 28 states and 8,000 miles by train later this year in new ITV documentary series Billy Connolly’s Tracks Across America.
Talking about his new project, the 72-year-old comedian and actor revealed how Parkinson’s disease has stopped him from enjoying one of his great loves – playing the banjo and guitar.
The Glasgow-born star started out as a folk singer before developing the stand-up act that made him famous and led to a career in television and film.
He was often pictured with his banjo but has now said he can no longer play it as he prepares to travel across the United States for his new series.
Billy said Parkinson’s has particularly affected his left hand, preventing him from playing his favourite instruments.
In an interview in Canada to promote his stand-up tour, he said: “I’m starting a documentary series in a month’s time following the railways around America.
“I’m going to festivals and state fairs and all that.
“I’ve been longing to do it for a long time. The only trouble is that we’re going to bluegrass festivals and I’ve got Parkinson’s Disease and it’s really affected my left hand and I can’t play the banjo or guitar any more, but I’ll join in on the singing at least.
“It’s been a rough go between that and the cancer. I kept telling my wife that haemorrhoids couldn’t be far behind.”