Scot­land — where Billy was made

Havelock North Village Press - - News - Linda Thomp­son

The Big Yin is a very funny man, but this isn’t laugh-aminute book. It’s the story of his grow­ing up in Scot­land’s High­lands and Low­lands, and the coun­try that shaped this now cit­i­zen of the world.

It’s part of a BBC TV se­ries, Com­ing Home, and is a kind of love story to the coun­try of his early years. His mem­o­ries and ex­pe­ri­ences from school days, the Scot­tish weather — the cold, cloud and driz­zle he calls “dre­ich”. He doesn’t blame his young mother for leav­ing him and his sis­ter for a man, and re­lates the beat­ings he re­ceived from teach­ers at school in a mat­ter-of-fact man­ner. It was just the times. He wan­ders off into tan­gents on read­ing, the ship­yards, re­tire­ment, song­writ­ing (he plays the banjo), fine art, swear­ing and telling jokes. And th­ese days be­ing a tourist in his own home town in Glas­gow. Th­ese days he also suf­fers from Parkin­son’s so there’s an ac­knowl­edge­ment of a fail­ing body.

It’s not a bi­og­ra­phy — he al­ready has a cou­ple of those writ­ten by his Kiwi wife, Dr Pamela Stephen­son. This is dif­fer­ent, a book about place and what shapes a per­son.

Co­me­dian Billy Con­nolly.

Made in Scot­land: Billy Con­nolly — My grand ad­ven­tures in a wee coun­try With Ian Git­tens, Pen­guin Ran­dom House, $40

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