- Billy Connolly (1942 - )
Billy was born on 24 November, 1942 in Anderston in Glasgow>. His parents separated when he was five and he was brought up by two aunts in Partick (they have often featured in his humour). He started his working life as a message boy and then an apprentice welder in the Clydeside shipyards. His stage career began in 1965 as a singer and playing the banjo with the "Humblebums" folk group. The occasional jokes he told grew more frequent after he forgot the words of a song - and his ad libs to cover up got a laugh.
His observation of life (often recalled from his childhood), his Rabelasian style, his obvious enjoyment of what he is doing, his wild hair and beard (now more under control), his long rambling stories, his props such as his Banana Boots (now in a Glasgow Museum - see picture above), his banjo and his use of the "F" word ensured his popularity but also disapproval from some. Surprisingly, he was able to take his Glasgow humour to the world and be an even greater success. Despite eleven "Fs" a minute, his sell-out appearances at the Sydney Opera House> don't seem to have lowered the tone of the place. He has also expanded into "straight" acting both with American sit-coms and films such as "Mrs Brown">.
His remarks about Glasgow (such as "The great thing about Glasgow is that if there's a nuclear attack it will look exactly the same afterwards") and furthering his career abroad and apparently "neglecting" Scotland have sometimes been looked upon disapprovingly over the years by some Scots but setting up home in Scotland again (even if it is a baronial castle in Aberdeenshire) and popular TV shows about Scotland have all helped to endear him once more both at home and abroad.
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