Connolly may have had Parkinson’s for decade before diagnosis, wife says

COMEDIAN Billy Connolly could have had Parkinson’s disease for around 10 years before it was diagnosed, his wife has revealed.

Pamela Stephenson, 64, disclosed that she had noticed her husband’s hand shaking for many years, but assumed that he had spent too long playing the banjo.

Connolly, 71, has previously told how he was diagnosed with both prostate cancer and Parkinson’s disease on the same day.

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Now Stephenson said that the star is “doing incredibly well”.

She said: “He’s been ill and it was a huge shock for him. For someone who’s been healthy his whole life, to suddenly hear that he had two major problems in a week. He had cancer, he’s got Parkinson’s.

“But thank God his Parkinson’s is so mild he will never really have the kind of symptoms that many people associate with Parkinson’s, as far as we know.”

The Not The Nine O’Clock News star added: “He’s probably had it for 10 years, so it’s very, very slowly progressing.

“There are different strains of Parkinson’s that I’m learning about.”

She also revealed that her husband did not need medication for Parkinson’s as his symptoms were so mild, and while at one time she thought that he might not be able to perform “there are no problems with his memory”.

Connolly, who has been given the all-clear following treatment for prostate cancer, has previously described how he received the news that he had cancer and Parkinson’s disease on the same day.