SIR Billy Connolly has said he does not let his Parkinson’s disease dictate who he is, as he spoke of his honour at being named the recipient of this year’s Bafta Fellowship.

The 79-year-old Scottish comedian will be celebrated for a career spanning more than five decades at the Virgin Media Bafta TV Awards on Sunday.

Connolly, who was knighted in 2017 for services to entertainment and charity, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2013. He retired from live performances five years later but has continued to record programmes and make TV appearances.

Speaking to about the fellowship, which is the highest accolade given to recognise “outstanding and exceptional contribution” in film, games or television across their career, he said: “I have a collection of shiny things that I’m very proud of. But I never set out to get them or hunt them down. I don’t believe in aiming at it, because if you don’t get it for whatever reason you’re all disappointed. Just do what you do well.”

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Connolly, who turns 80 in November, joins a prestigious list of other recipients honoured for their work in television including Sir David Attenborough, Dame Julie Walters, Sir Trevor McDonald, Dame Joanna Lumley, Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders, Jon Snow, Sir Bruce Forsyth, Dame Joan Bakewell and others.

Born in Glasgow in 1942, Connolly began his working life as a welder in the Clyde shipyards before embarking on a career as a folk singer and musician alongside Gerry Rafferty in The Humblebums, before developing the stand-up act that made him famous.

He is also an accomplished actor, winning praise for his role opposite Dame Judi Dench in Mrs Brown in 1997, as well as The Man Who Sued God and The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies. He is also a gifted travel reporter, making a string of popular documentaries.

In 2012, Connolly was honoured with a lifetime achievement award by Bafta Scotland for six decades in showbusiness.

Connolly has been married to actress-turned-clinical psychologist and author Pamela Stephenson since 1989. Connolly, who lives in the US, will not be able to attend the ceremony in person, but a recorded acceptance message will be played.

“It’s really important to work, to draw, to write, to walk silly for your grandchildren,” he told, saying: “Doing the same thing you’ve always done is good for you. I don’t let the Parkinson’s dictate who I am – I just get on with it. I’ve had a very successful career and I have no regrets at all.”

He said of the fellowship: “I am deeply honoured. Fifty films and ... I can’t remember how many TV shows as well as my stage comedy – added up to something that’s a joy to look back on.”

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Emma Baehr, executive director of awards and content at Bafta, said: “We’re honoured to be awarding Sir Billy Connolly with the 2022 Bafta Fellowship Award.

“He has made a remarkable contribution to our industry from his first appearance on Parkinson in 1975, through to becoming a national treasure on stage and screen, adored by fans around the world.”

The Virgin Media Bafta TV Awards will be hosted by Richard Ayoade on BBC One from 6pm on Sunday, May 8.