Comic and actor Billy Connolly is "doing incredibly well" after being diagnosed with prostate cancer and Parkinson's disease on the same day, his wife has revealed.
Pamela Stephenson told BBC Radio 5 live that being ill "was a huge shock" for her husband as he had been "healthy his whole life".
"Thank God his Parkinson's is so mild he will never really have the kind of symptoms that many people associate with Parkinson's, as far as we know," the Not The Nine O'clock News star said.
She said Connolly could have had Parkinson's disease for a decade before it was diagnosed as she had noticed his hand shaking for many years, adding, "I used to think he was playing the banjo a bit too much."
Comedian Billy Connolly has told how he hopes to raise a laugh from beyond the grave - with an interactive burial plot that has touch-sensitive pads to trigger a recording of his voice.
The 71-year-old, who has been treated for prostate cancer and Parkinson's disease after being diagnosed last year, talks about his plans in a new ITV film Billy Connolly's Big Send Off.
In the documentary, screened on Wednesday at 9pm, he investigates attitudes towards death around the world.
He said: "I was going to have 'Oh Jesus Christ, is that the time already', but in tiny little letters, about an eighth of an inch high so to see them you'd have to step on to the grave where I would have placed ... those sensitive pads that you get for people who are breaking in to your house.
"And it would activate a sound system and it would say, 'You're standing on my balls!"
Comedian Billy Connolly has revealed how he was diagnosed with prostate cancer and Parkinson's disease on the same day.
Speaking on the ITV documentary Billy Connolly's Big Send Off, the 71-year-old recalls the "funny week" in which he received news of the double diagnosis.
"On the Monday I got hearing aids, on the Tuesday I got pills for heartburn which I have to take all the time. And on the Wednesday I got news that I had prostate cancer and Parkinson's disease," he says.
Connolly, who been given the all-clear after treatment for prostate cancer, also says he was "angry" at suggestions that drugs to combat Parkinson's had led to him forgetting things on stage.
"I've lost my train of thought all (through) my career! It's what makes me different from everybody else," he argues.
Billy Connolly's Big Send Off airs on May 7th at 9pm on ITV1
Sir Bob Geldof said his friend Billy Connolly is "as strong as an ox" and backed the comedian not to be deterred by the initial stages of Parkinson's disease and his surgery for prostate cancer.
Sir Bob told Channel 5 News: "Pam [his wife] and Bill are great mates. He’s as strong as an ox mentally from everything he’s been through as a kid. So I don’t think this will deter him from being that individual that we know.”
Put simply Billy Connolly is a much loved comedy legend and we are sorry to hear that he is being treated for the early symptoms of Parkinson's.
One person every hour will be diagnosed with Parkinson's in the UK, despite this it remains a little understood condition and we salute Billy's bravery in speaking out about his condition at this difficult time.
There are 127,000 people in the UK, like Billy, living with Parkinson's. Parkinson's can be a very difficult condition to diagnose, as no two people with Parkinson's are the same, with symptoms - such a slowness of movement or tremor - changing on a daily, or even hourly basis.
Many people, with the right medication, continue to live a full and active live with Parkinson's, but for some, it can be life changing and it is vital that Billy gets the support he needs to live with this complex condition.