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I'll keep quiet on politics, says Billy

BILLY Connolly has vowed to stay out of political discussions following a backlash to his opinions on Scottish independence.

The 69-year-old Scottish actor and comedian said: "Whenever I open my mouth I get it slapped shut. I'm told to mind my own business, to learn what I'm talking about.

"But I'll tell you what, I don't like showbusiness people lecturing the public on how they should vote anyway. I've always found that a kind of precocious state, and I've done it before you know, and when I look back at some of the things I've said I feel kind of stupid."

Connolly (right) has been vocal in his disapproval of Scottish independence in the past, but admitted that 2012 has been "a very interesting time for Scotland".

He said: "I would like to know...how much it's going to cost the people to do this...and how it's going to affect the average person, the average Joe. Is it going to affect his life? If it's for the better, it's up to him. But Scots are capable of making up their mind without my tuppence worth."

The actor was joined on the red carpet by co-stars Tom Courtenay (75) and Sheridan Smith (31) to promote his latest film Quartet. The comedy, directed by actor Dustin Hoffman, follows four elderly opera singers who are reunited in a retirement home. It will be released in January.