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Comedy legend Billy 'may have had Parkinson's for 10 years'

COMIC Billy Connolly could have had Parkinson's disease for around 10 years before it was diagnosed, his wife has revealed.

Pamela Stephenson (64) said that she had noticed her husband's hand shaking for many years, but assumed he had spent too long playing on the banjo.

Connolly (71) has previously told how he was diagnosed with both prostate cancer and Parkinson's disease on the same day.

Now Stephenson said the star is "doing incredibly well".

"He's been ill and it was a huge shock for him. For someone who's been healthy his whole life, to suddenly hear that he had two major problems in a week," she said.

"But thank God his Parkinson's is so mild he will never really have the kind of symptoms that many people associate with the disease.

"He's probably had it for 10 years, so it's very, very slowly progressing," she added.


The Not The Nine O'Clock News star said: "I've actually noticed his hand shaking for many, many years. I used to think he was playing the banjo a bit too much. I think it's been there for a long time."

She said that it had been a difficult time "for the whole family".

"But Billy's one of those people who doesn't like going to the doctor.

"He's his curmudgeonly, lovable self and dealt with it the way you would imagine him to deal with it."

Stephenson said that her husband did not need medication for Parkinson's because his symptoms were so mild, and "there are no problems with his memory".

Connolly, who has been given the all-clear following treatment for prostate cancer, has previously described how he received the news that he had cancer and Parkinson's disease on the same day.