Saturday 22 September 2018

Sir Billy Connolly: I dislike people who write England off because they’re Scottish

The Glasgow-born star talks patriotism and his annual Oscars ritual with his wife of 28 years, Pamela Stephenson.

Investitures at Buckingham Palace
Investitures at Buckingham Palace

By Kerri-Ann Roper, Press Association Entertainment Editor

Sir Billy Connolly has described himself as the “least patriotic man in the world” and said he dislikes people who “write England off because they’re Scottish”.

The Scottish actor and comedian, also known by his moniker The Big Yin, will be seen in the first episode of Sky Arts series Tate Britain’s Great Art Walks, where he joins Gus Casely-Hayford on a walking tour which will focus on the influences of English painter Stanley Spencer.

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ROYAL Investitures

Asked about his choice of doing the programme which focuses on a British painter, as a Scotsman, he told Radio Times: “I’m the least patriotic man in the world. I do love Scotland, but if the love for your country is all you have, you’re in a desperate state.

“I dislike people that write England off because they’re Scottish. It’s unfair and brutal.”

The Glasgow-born star, 75, who has enjoyed a successful acting career alongside his life in comedy, revealed in 2013 that he was being treated for the initial symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

He was knighted at Buckingham Palace in 2017 and said being given the honour was “a big bit nerve-racking”.

He told Radio Times: “You don’t want to make an arse of it. You think, “Oh God, don’t trip.” Or worry you might make a rude noise.

“Since I’ve got Parkinson’s, I’m a bit dodgy getting down on one knee – I don’t do it all that well. And then I had to walk backwards to a certain point, but I managed it fine.

“I’m sure Prince William will think I’m a mentally ill person. I answered his questions in the most stupid fashion just though nerves.”

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This week's issue of the Radio Times magazine (Radio Times)

Sir Billy, who has been married to Pamela Stephenson for 28 years, said there was “no secret to it all” when asked about their marriage.

He added: “If you listen to the song The Glory of Love: “You’ve got to give a little, take a little/Sometimes let your poor heart break a little/That’s the story of, and that’s the glory of love.” It’s all in there.”

He revealed the couple watch the Oscars ceremony annually and he makes “macaroni and cheese. It’s a ritual”.

– Read the full interview in this week’s Radio Times.

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