Sir Billy Connolly, 75, offers to be a guinea pig for clinical research trials in fight for Parkinsons disease cure


Celtic fan Billy Connolly during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match at Celtic Park, Glasgow.
Billy has put himself forward for clinical research trials (PA Wire/PA Images)

Sir Billy Connolly has volunteered for clinical trials to help find a cure for Parkinsons disease.

The 75-year-old comedian has been battling with the condition, which causes parts of the brain to become progressively damaged, since mid-2013 and has now offered to be a guinea pig for research.

Billy recently revealed that hes been in contact with stem cell scientists at Harvard University and offered to help advance their research.

The Scotsman told The Mail on Sunday: Ive spoken to guys working on it at Harvard and told them Ill be a guinea pig for them. I think they are going to take me up on that.

It comes just weeks after his close pal Sir Michael Parkinson claimed Billy was having trouble remembering old friends.

He explained: The sadness of Billy now is that wonderful brain is dulled.

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I saw him recently – hes now living in America – and it was very sad, because I was presenting him with a prize at an award ceremony.

We had an awkward dinner together, because I wasnt quite sure if he knew who I was or not.
We were walking out after the presentation to go down and have our picture taken, and he turned to me and put his hand on my shoulders.

He wasnt sure where [the dinner] was or what context at all.

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Michael, 83, and Billy have been close friends for years, with the latter making a number of appearances on his talk show Parkinson, which ran from 1971 to 1982 and from 1998 to 2007, and he found the experience with his old pal deeply upsetting.

He added: And to know someone as long as I knew and loved Billy… it was an awful thing to contemplate, that that had been taken from him in a sense.

He was just a genius and the best thing that happened to me on the show.

Billy – who was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2013 but underwent successful surgery to remove the disease – previously admitted he has contemplated suicide on numerous occasions since being diagnosed with Parkinsons disease.

Asked in 2016 if he has ever thought about ending his life, he said: Yeah sometimes I give it a bit of thought when Im in bed. I think, “Well this is forever, this isnt going to get better, its going to get worse.” But then I try and change my mind and I try and meditate and move away from it sideways.

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