The legendary comedian is ‘still a force of nature’ (Picture: Tristan Fewings/Getty Images)
Sir Billy Connolly could have an exciting new venture on the horizon, despite it previously being thought that his work on TV might have come to an end.
For decades, the 81-year-old has been entertaining the masses with his quick and unique wit, demonstrating his talent across comedy, music and acting as one of the most celebrated comedians in the UK.
In addition to his roles on TV and film, Sir Billy – who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2013 – has also hosted a variety of programmes, embarking on adventures while travelling across the globe.
Metro.co.uk recently had the chance to speak to Mike Reilly, who’s been working with the stand-up legend since 2011 and has directed the latest season of Billy Connolly Does…, which opens with an episode all about Scottish Pride.
Mike felt particularly connected to Sir Billy as a fan before they started working together, considering his family are also from Glasgow.
The director stressed that the comedian is ‘as real and as authentic as you could possibly imagine someone in his position being’, before teasing what he could have in store in the future.
‘I’ve been asked by different channels about doing possibly another thing with Billy, so we’re in conversations about that. That will be very different… in some degrees similar,’ he shared.
Mike outlined how their work together is now ‘very pared down’, as he wants to make it feel ‘comfortable’ without too many crew members in the room when he’s conducting his interviews.
He then teased that something particularly exciting could be in the works, telling us: ‘I’ve been asked about doing something else with him, which we’re in conversations about that. But I’m not allowed to say what it is. But it’ll be nice if it happens, it’ll be great if it happens.’
He added: ‘I always think we’ve said goodbye on so many occasions, thinking, “I think we’ve done it now.” A year later, someone will phone up and say, “Could you do this?” For me obviously it’s an absolute pleasure. I love going to see him, so it’s been brilliant.’
Sir Billy seen performing in London at the Apollo Victoria Theatre in 1981 (Picture: Brian Cooke/Redferns)
If Sir Billy were to work on more projects beyond the latest season of Billy Connolly Does… it would need to ‘come from him’, as it’s essential that he is ‘invested’.
‘Billy’s earnt his stripes, you know? I wouldn’t want to make these films and have these conversations with him unless he really wanted to, and he was invested. It just wouldn’t work,’ Mike said.
‘It needs to come from him. My job is just to listen and talk, ask questions and have a good time. I have a great time making these shows. I absolutely love it.’
One can only imagine the stories that Mike has heard about Sir Billy’s life, one of which involved the comedian hanging out in Malta with Harry Nilsson and Robin Williams.
Another, he told us, was centred around Sir Billy playing polo in the Himalayas with Ringo Starr. As you do.
The comedian was awarded a CBE in 2003 and was knighted in 2017 (Picture: Fiona Hanson/AFP via Getty Images)
The director expressed his hope that viewers take a ‘sense of joy’ from the new season of Billy Connolly Does…, after years of the comedian providing entertainment for countless people around the world.
‘There’s very few people that can bring joy into your home, because his humour is never mean, and it’s never pointed. He’s never short of an opinion, don’t get me wrong, but he’s never mean, he never punches down. That joy for life and a life lived,’ Mike said.
‘Despite the Parkinson’s and everything else like that, he’s still a force of nature. I was saying to somebody recently, five minutes in Billy’s company is like four hours in somebody else’s. Because it’s a life force that other people don’t have and it’s a way of thinking and it’s a way of looking at the world.
‘So it’s a privilege – but joy is the main thing I would hope people take away from it. That’s what he’s given me.’
Season three of Billy Connolly Does… will air on Gold on Thursday February 8.
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