Comedian Billy Connolly made headlines after making comments that suggested that he was nearing death, but it turns out that the whole thing is a misunderstanding.
Last week, grim statements made by Connolly in his new BBC series, Made in Scotland, inspired an outpouring of condolences online.
In the documentary, Connolly – who has suffered a long battle with Parkinson’s disease – gazes over the ocean while ruminating on his body’s decay and the inevitability of his death.
“My life is slipping away,” said Connolly. “And I can feel it and I should, I’m 75. I’m near the end. I’m a damn sight nearer the end than I am the beginning.”
“But it doesn’t frighten me. It’s an adventure and it’s quite interesting to see myself slipping away, as bits slip off and leave me. Talents leave and attributes leave.”
He also spoke about how his faculties are failing him and how he is no longer able to play the banjo as he used to. The sequence ends by him saying that he’ll be “doing the next episode in the spirit world.”
Sounds quite macabre, right?
Considering Connolly’s long-term health battles it’s only natural to take the comments literally, but it turns out that the comments were a general reflection on ageing and human mortality, not a proclamation of his impending death.
Connolly’s wife, Australian psychologist Pamela Stephenson, posted a video on Twitter to clear up the confusion. In it, Connolly happily plays the banjo while his wife giggles in the background before denying the seriousness of the statements made in the documentary.
“Not dying, not dead, not slipping away,” says Connolly in the video. “Sorry if I depressed you. Maybe I should have phrased it better.”
— Pamela Stephenson (@PamelaStephensn) January 5, 2019
The video has now been viewed over 2.6 million times by relieved fans who have plenty more documentaries and banjo-playing to look forward to.
[Feature image courtesy of BBC]