Comedian Billy Connolly has signed up for a role in the new X-Files movie.

The shaggy-haired Scottish comic, affectionately known to fans as the Big Yin, will play a disgraced priest in the new spin-off film, The X-Files: I Want to Believe, which is due for release later this year.

His character begins to have a series of strange visions after a group of women disappear from their homes in rural Virginia. When the police contact him for more information, his visions lead them to a secret facility which is carrying out bizarre medical experiments.

‘It’s a complete change for Billy,’ a film insider told the Sunday Mirror.

The X-Files – which stars David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson as FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dr Dana Scully – was last seen on TV in 2002. The first movie came out in 1998. The new film sees them coaxed out of retirement after investigators become desperate to make use of their alien-tracking experience.

‘Mulder and Scully have no desire to revisit their dark past, but they are persuaded that they are the only people who can stop these horrific crimes,’ says the insider.