Thursday 19 September 2019

Sir Billy Connolly reveals life-changing advice from Glasgow shipyards

The comedian spoke to the BBC about a moment that changed his career.

Sir Billy Connolly was urged to quit manual labour (Yui Mok/PA)
Sir Billy Connolly was urged to quit manual labour (Yui Mok/PA)

By Craig Simpson, Press Association

Sir Billy Connolly has said one conversation in the Clydeside docks changed his life and set him on the path to stardom.

The influential Glasgow comedian revealed that a prompt from a fellow dock-worker launched his career, which would see him achieve enormous fame and a knighthood.

Sir Billy spoke on a BBC programme, Billy Connolly Made In Scotland, which focused on his formative years.

The comedian said: “Someone in the yards changed my life forever. He said, ‘what are you doing?’
“I said ‘I’m going to be a folk singer. I’m going to quit at the holidays’. He said, ‘if you were really keen you would do it now’.

“The most important thing he said to me is ‘you don’t want to be sitting here as an old man knowing you could have gotten out. I’ve known guys like that and it destroys their whole life. You’ve got a chance, go and do it’. So I did it.”

Sir Billy’s talent on the banjo led him ultimately to form The Humblebums with Gerry Rafferty, a project which propelled the future comedian into a life and stage that would serve as the platform for his comedy.

PA Media

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