Billy Con­nolly & Me: A Cel­e­bra­tion

The Daily Telegraph - Review - - Television -

ITV, 9.00pm

“I laughed my sec­ond child into the world,” says Emma from Here­ford­shire, who claims that her labour was pain-free due to gig­gling along to a Billy Con­nolly video. “Say­ing that Billy Con­nolly changed your life is a strange thing to do, but it’s true,” says Matt from Mac­cles­field, who moved Down Un­der after be­ing in­spired by Con­nolly’s World Tour of Australia.

These are just a few of the video di­ary-style anec­dotes from fans that are sprin­kled through­out this one-off spe­cial to mark Con­nolly’s five decades work­ing in com­edy. There’s chat, too, from the Big Yin him­self, who still has a mane of wild, white hair and a twin­kle of that trade­mark manic en­ergy, as he re­flects on top­ics such as turn­ing swear­ing into an art form and un­der­es­ti­mat­ing the power of laugh­ter. Judi Dench, Eric Idle, Andy Mur­ray and El­ton John are among the fa­mous faces shar­ing their own mem­o­ries of how he has amused them. Of course, it’s nice to hear such sto­ries, but the real treat re­mains in watch­ing clips of Con­nolly riff­ing on all as­pects of life (“I’ve got Parkin­son’s dis­ease – I wish he’d f---ing kept it to him­self!”). Ac­tress Su­ranne Jones nar­rates what is an af­fec­tion­ate trib­ute to an an­ar­chic tal­ent. Rachel Ward

Rais­ing a laugh: fans praise the tal­ent of the co­me­dian

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