Billy Connolly has learned to hypnotise his hands to stop Parkinson’s shakes
Comedian Billy Connolly has learned to`hypnotise’ his hands in a bid to stop Parkinson’s disease shakes.
The funnyman stares down his trembling mitts the way he used to "glare" at hecklers.
His hand "kinda quivers" then stops shaking.
Connolly, 79, who was diagnosed eight years ago, has quit touring but become an accomplished artist and published his autobiography Windswept and Interesting two months ago.
The control he can exert over his shakes has allowed him to keep working.
"I’ve learnt to hypnotise my hand,’’ he said.
"I glare at it and it kinda quivers.
"I just stare at it and eventually it stops.
"It’s quite a good trick. We love it.’’
The former boilermaker, who was one of Britain’s best-loved comics and starred in a string of hit movies including Indecent Proposal, Mrs Brown and The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, told the Radio Times Christmas issue he now lives a life of sun-soaked ease in his home on a river at Key West in Florida.
"I just flounce around, really,” he said.
"I go fishing, I draw, I hang out.’’
But he said the disease had stopped him doing many of the things he loved.
He can no longer play the banjo or write jokes by hand.
"I loved writing letters but now my writing is illegible,’’ he said.
"My collection of fountain pens and ink is redundant.
"It’s a pain in the bum.
"I’ve never tried to cover up the illness.
"I’m p***** off with it. It won’t go away.
"People are kinda chained to it. But I try to be cheery.
"You confront it by saying `b***** off, I’m going to get on with my life’.’’
He has recently found happiness watching his old stand-up routines while compiling footage for a forthcoming TV special.
"I like it, I really do,’’ he said.
"It’s like watching somebody else. I don’t relate to it.
"It’s like I’m disembodied. It’s a lovely feeling.
"I was roaring with laughter.
"I’m separated from it that much because I can’t do it any more.
"All in all I’ve had an incredible life. It’s been very easy to enjoy.’’
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