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.
Billy Connolly recently underwent minor surgery in America after being diagnosed with the very early stages of prostate cancer. The operation was a total success, and Billy is fully recovered.
In addition, Billy has been assessed as having the initial symptoms of Parkinson's disease, for which he is receiving the appropriate treatment.
Billy has been assured by experts that the findings will in no way inhibit or affect his ability to work, and he will start filming a TV series in the near future, as well as undertaking an extensive theatrical tour of New Zealand in the new year.