Billy Connolly Fan's Journal
Friday, November 26, 2010
11.32am - MEAT THE BIG YIN...
MEAT THE BIG YIN...
Quite what Billy Connolly will think of this meaty likeness remains to be seen
Monday November 15,2010
WITH a haggis face and tartan jacket carved from layers of bacon, it hardly seems the most fitting tribute to a vegetarian.
The portrait of the Scottish comedian was created by photographer Carl Warner, who uses everyday foodstuffs to generate his artwork.
His ‘Salvador Deli’ masterpieces can take up to two days to form as he carefully layers together fruit and vegetables, cheese, bread, meats and fish.
He used Scottish ingredients to make the edible tribute for the Big Yin’s 68th birthday on November 24.
Carl, who is based in London, said: “Although I know he is a vegetarian, haggis was a ‘must-have’ ingredient, plus it has the right colour and texture for skin tones.”
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Sunday, October 10, 2010
As a comedian, Billy Connolly doesn't look back
CHICAGO - If you want to annoy the Big Yin, just accuse him of peddling comic nostalgia.
"Nostalgia?" Billy Connolly sputtered down the telephone line the other day, when indecorously asked if a 67-year-old man whose comedic career goes back more than 40 years, and who has been a major celebrity in the United Kingdom for at least 30 of 'em, now offers what one might call a retro experience. Is he not a feisty tartan oasis, as it were, in the midst of kids with mics who weren't even born when Connolly first performed his parody of Tammy Wynette's "D-I-V-O- R-C-E" on the BBC's "Top of the Pops" in1975?
"Yer think I'm Andy Stewart?" Connolly went on, warming to his task. "That's all journalese and yer know it."
In the U.K., Connolly is known as an oversized stand-up comedian, folk singer and all-around raconteur and TV personality.
In the U.S. (where Connolly has lived, unbeknown to most Britons, since coming to Los Angeles to star in the sitcom "The Head of the Class" in 1986), he is still known primarily as a movie actor.
"Half the population here doesn't even know I'm a comedian," he said, calming down a little (but just a little). "I still have to establish myself. I just go to a place and refuse to go away until people come to the theater."
Eddie Izzard, who has said he counts Connolly among his influences, now plays arenas.
Connolly is attempting something different. Something sort of in reverse.
He's not doing a one-nighter downtown (even though he played the old Chicago Stadium back in the day) but an entire week of shows at the Royal George Theatre, which seats only 447. Opening night was Tuesday.
His producer, Arnold Engelman of Westbeth Entertainment, says it's all part of a deliberate strategy wherein Connolly plants himself in a city for a while, hangs around and lets people notice that he's there. And then if they come to his show, they get an intimate experience and the kind of night the performer actually enjoys. It has worked for Connolly in Boston and is now being tried in Chicago. One suspects Broadway might be next.
And what's in store for this experience? Connolly is, unlike most of those other stand-ups, almost entirely an improviser.
"I talk about anything and everything," he said. "Religion. Politics. The news of the day. I go on intending to talk about something, and then usually I don't. I can never remember anything. I usually look at the tapes from my last show, let them rumble around in my head, and then I go out and do something completely different."
There is no music in the show though, despite Connolly's deep roots in folk and musical parody.
"You have to have this banjo sitting next to you," he said. "It's like having a big, red tomato. And people stare at the tomato all night. That doesn't work."
Friday, October 1, 2010
Connolly replaced by ape in ads
By JASON MacNeil, QMI Agency
Last Updated: September 29, 2010 3:39pm
If someone says to comedian/actor Billy Connolly that an ape could do his job, he just might believe them.
Connolly had been the spokesman in advertisements for ING Direct in Australia but this week the company went in a different direction.
"They replaced me with an orangutan," Connolly says. "I heard about it today from the first time from a journalist. I'm delighted that they've kept their standards high."
Connolly's manager told him the company switched advertising agencies and with that went "with a clean sweep." But Connolly has no ill will towards the company or his replacement.
"By God I hope he does well," he says laughing. "I hope he learns his lines."
Connolly embarks on an 11-city, cross-Canada tour dubbed The Man Live in early November.
Actor Billy Connolly pokes fun at Pixar
Actor Billy Connolly attends a special screening of "Buried" at the Tribeca Grand Hotel on September 16, 2010 in New York City.Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images
Animated powerhouse Pixar made headlines last week for naming its first female director, but Scottish comedian Billy Connolly poked a bit of fun at the milestone in an interview Tuesday.
The 67-year-old will lend his voice talents to Brave, a film about a princess who defies her parents by pursuing an interest in archery. The film — Pixar’s 13th — will be written and directed by Brenda Chapman.
But Connolly admitted that he wasn’t really aware of the landmark.
“It didn’t dawn on me for ages, because animated directors have always made me laugh,” the affable Connolly said during an interview Tuesday at a swanky Toronto hotel bar.
“The first one I did was (1995’s) Pocahontas, and I said: ‘How do you direct an animated movie?’ Do you say to Donald Duck, ‘Right. Here’s what I want.’ How do you direct Donald Duck?
“Who exactly do you direct? Do you direct the artist? Do you direct the sound guy? Who gets directed first?
“So it didn’t become a matter of male or female to me. I just found (animation) directors absurd and immensely likable.”
Connolly, who will kick off an 11-city Canadian stand-up tour Nov. 2 in Hamilton, is becoming a voice-acting veteran.
In addition to Pocahontas, he loaned his talents to the 2006 smash Open Season and its straight-to-video sequel as well as a few other smaller projects.
“(Animation people) are wonderful people,” Connolly said. “They truly are artistically driven. . . They never say, ‘I always wanted to direct.’ They’ve always arrived at it from some weird angle within the field.”
While Connolly didn’t realize that Chapman was Pixar’s first female director, he says they get along well.
“She’s a lovely woman and she buys me cigars,” he said.
And he’s optimistic that the film, due out in 2012, will live up to the lofty standards created by Pixar’s roster of critically acclaimed box-office smashes, which includes Toy Story 3, Up, and Wall-E.
“It’s good fun, the rehearsals have been really funny,” he said. “Sometimes you worry that it might not come up the lens, but if they’re animated, it’s not going to come up the lens — there is no lens. ...
“They’re terribly good at what they do.”
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Pamela Stephenson reveals how husband Billy Connolly warned her to keep covered up on Strictly Come Dancing
Pamela Stephenson Image 2
Strictly Come Dancing hopeful Pamela Stephenson has revealed how husband Billy Connolly warned her not to flash the flesh in the show.
Pamela, who was paired with her professional dance partner for the first time on Wednesday night, sported a tight pink satin and sparkling stone-encrusted gown.
And every step she took was watched by Billy, who was sitting in the front row of an audience of 650 people.
Pamela, 60, revealed that she only let on she'd agreed to do the show after cooking Billy dinner and sitting him down.
The comedian and clinical psychologist said: "Billy has already had a word with my dance partner out the back and he's always telling me my clothes are 'too tight'.
"He says to me to put my boobs away - in words just like that but worse."
Saturday, August 28, 2010
11.00am - Big Yin out for a trout
Big Yin out for a trout
Connolly spent several days following in the late writer's footsteps - in search of an elusive trout in the poet's favourite fishing loch.
He is joined in the hunt for McCaig's great trout by fiddler Aly Bain and novelist Andrew Greig.
The Glaswegian comic filmed the BBC4 documentary in May - but was caught in a blizzard while camping 1600ft up a mountain.
He said: "That night made it an ordeal but until then, it was absolutely terrific. I nearly set fire to my sleeping bag, it was that cold."
The film was announced yesterday as part of the BBC4 autumn season, which also features a documentary on Scots painter Peter Howson.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
What Billy Connolly means to Glasgow
16 Aug 2010
He receives the Freedom of Glasgow this week, but what was the real effect of the city on Billy Connolly?
IN 1974, round about the same time Richard Nixon resigned as US president over the Watergate affair and Lord Lucan disappeared never to be seen again, Billy Connolly released a live record called Solo Concert. Recorded in the Tudor Hotel in Airdrie, it was a double album comprising a mixture of songs and repartee, including The Jobbie Weecha and The Crucifixion.
In the former, a riff on going to the toilet on an aeroplane, Connolly speculated on the destination of jobbies once released from their bodily prisons. Was there a tank in which they were held until the plane landed or were they “wheeched” into the atmosphere via an ingenious device Connolly insisted he’d seen on Tomorrow’s World?
In The Crucifixion, meanwhile, he sought to subvert 2,000 years of theological scholarship by insisting that a young girl working in a Glasgow printer’s had made a terrible misprint in the Bible. Thus, said Connolly, it was his sincere belief that the Last Supper had not taken place in Galilee as was generally accepted. Rather it had been held at the Saracen’s Head (“quite a popular place for cocktails of an evening”) in Glasgow’s Gallowgate where a copious amount of drink was taken and where apparently Jesus told the Apostles: “Wan o’ you is goin’ to shop me … and two big Roman polis is goin’ to wheech me right oo’ o’ here, and into the jail. And ah’m goin’ tae dae a wan-night lie-in, me with the good dress on tae. And I’m goin’ tae get up in the mornin’ and say, first offence ah’m on to probation nae bother. But a big Roman is goin’ to come into my cell and say, ‘Probationum my arsium’ …”
The album, recalls singer-songwriter Rab Noakes, suddenly propelled Connolly, who he has known since their days together on the folk music circuit, to a much wider audience than he’d been able previously to command. “It was so bonkers,” says Noakes, “it caught people’s imaginations and it just grew from there.” Fame in itself, adds Noakes, was not the spur. Or at least not the kind of fame associated with household names. “Your aspiration was to be like Hamish Imlach; it wasn’t to be like Frank Sinatra,” he says, putting together two names not often seen sharing the same sentence.
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Friday, August 6, 2010
Connolly to perform at TCU Place
Glasgow comedian Billy Connolly performs Nov. 18 at TCU Place as part of his first Canadian tour since 2006, called The Man Live.
"His incorrigible style and wit has perched him high atop the comedic hierarchy," say promoters. "Considering his ability to crush box office records across the globe, it would be a shame to miss the opportunity to experience his performance that inevitably evokes gut-wrenching laughter."
In addition to stand-up, Connolly has appeared in moves such as Lemony Snicket's A Series Of Unfortunate Events, Indecent Proposal and The Last Samurai. Upcoming is Gulliver's Travels starring Jack Black, Jason Siegel, Amanda Peet and Emily Blunt.
Tickets go on sale Friday at TCUtickets.ca. Phone 975-7799.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Fans campaign for statue to be erected of Billy Connolly in the nude
A campaign has been launched calling for a nude statue of Billy Connolly to be erected in Glasgow to mark his 70th birthday.
Pals Tina Cairns and Cylina Boyle appealed for support on the social networking site Facebook and quickly attracted 144 members.
They hope that by the time the Big Yin turns 70 - on November 24, 2012 - the clamour will be so strong the authorities will be forced into action.
The friends, of Knightswood, Glasgow, believe the city's Botanic Gardens would be the ideal venue for the naked statue which would celebrate Billy's famous streak through London's Piccadilly Circus to mark the first million being raised for Comic Relief in 2001.
Mum-of-three Tina, 37, said: "I think a statue is long overdue. The campaign started off as a laugh but the more we thought about it, the more appropriate it became.
"Glasgow should be celebrating one of its most famous sons as he has done a lot to put the city on the map.
"He is a good husband and father and just a funny guy. He is a real role model for the city."
Billy is due to receive the Freedom of the City from Glasgow's Lord Provost next month.
Plans have also been unveiled to immortalise him in a steel sculpture attached to a housing development in Anderston, where he was born.
The £50,000 statue will be suspended 40ft in the air at the gable end of a block of flats overlooking the Clydeside Expressway, close to the shipyards where the Big Yin once worked as a welder.
Housing charity Sanctuary Scotland has commissioned artist Andy Scott to deliver the sculpture next spring.
But Tina and Cylina believe the city should go a step further and erect the naked statue.
Launching the Facebook campaign they wrote: "Don't you think it is about time we had a statue in Glasgow to celebrate one of its most famous sons? "If you close your eyes you could see a lifesize bronze of the Big Yin in his birthday suit gambolling through the flowers in the Botanic Gardens.
"We could have bulbs planted around the statue so that the flowers would bloom practically all year round.
"Billy is 67 and if we start now we could have him unveiling a statue of himself on his 70th birthday. Join the group and pass it on to everyone who has laughed along with him."
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Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Billy Connolly sculpture commissioned for Glasgow flats
Page last updated at 13:37 GMT, Monday, 28 June 2010 14:37 UK
The sculpture will overlook the Clydeside Expressway
A sculpture of Glasgow comedian Billy Connolly is to take pride of place at a new housing development in the city.
The steel structure, expected to cost up to £50,000, will be suspended 40ft in the air at the gable end of a block of flats in the Anderston area.
Housing charity, Sanctuary Scotland, has commissioned artist Andy Scott to deliver the sculpture in spring 2011.
His other notable public artworks include the M8 Heavy Horse and Falkirk Helix Water Kelpies.
Sanctuary Scotland chose to commission the sculpture of Billy Connolly as he was a former resident in the Anderston area.
The comedian has agreed to let his image be used subject to seeing the final design.'Popular figure'
The finished sculpture, showing Connolly with his banjo, will be used in phase one of the five-phase development which will see the creation of 430 new homes in the area.
When it is hoisted in to place, it will overlook the Clydeside Expressway - close to the shipyards where the comedian once worked as a welder.
Director Gordon Laurie said: "Sanctuary Scotland believes regeneration involves more than just homes and this public art of such a popular local figure is an exciting feature of our Anderston development.
"In consultation with local residents, we will be developing further proposals for public art during later phases of the project. We are looking forward to seeing our visions turned into reality."
Saturday, June 5, 2010
9.29am - Freesy does it for Billy
Freesy does it for Billy
'True great' ... Billy Connolly
By LUCY CHRISTIE
Published: 03 Jun 2010
Councillors in Glasgow will vote this month on giving the Big Yin the Freedom of the City.
Lord Provost Bob Winter - who is leading the move - praised Connolly as "arguably the world's best-known Glaswegian".
He added: "He is truly deserving. A true Scottish great, he works selflessly for charity.
"But above all, he has presented himself as a proud citizen of Glasgow."
Past recipients include former South African president Nelson Mandela.
A spokeswoman for Connolly declined to comment.
Read more: http://www.thesun.co.uk/scotsol/homepage/news/2997954/Freesy-does-it-for-Billy-Connolly.html#ixzz0pz7rEUXQ
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Scots comedy legend Billy Connolly was almost Doctor Who
BILLY CONNOLLY was nearly chosen to play Doctor Who.
The Big Yin almost became the Time Lord for a one-off TV movie in 1996, a role which went to Paul McGann.
The world's top Doctor Who historian, Alex Westthorp, revealed that BBC bosses put him on their shortlist when they watched him play opposite Judi Dench in the film Mrs Brown.
He said: "Billy was seriously considered for the eighth Doctor.
"Billy's acting was so good, everyone was talking about him as a serious actor.
"I think he would have brought his own unique sense of comedy to the character, and would have made an incredibly special Doctor.
"Connolly could easily have made that role his own and taken it to another level altogether."
Connolly, 67, was not the only Scot to narrowly miss out on the role, which has been held by Sylvester McCoy and David Tennant.
Paisley's Fulton Mackay almost became the fourth Doctor a year before he made his name as prison officer Mr Mackay in Porridge.
Alex said: "The third Doctor, Jon Pertwee, was about to give up the role, and Fulton was in the running.
"If Fulton had taken the role, we would all have lost the pure joy of seeing him as officer Mackay."
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
(UKPA) – 5 days ago
Comedian Billy Connolly has lent his Scottish brogue and sense of humour to TomTom's sat-nav devices.
The stand up provides turn-by-turn navigation for map-shy motorists across 9.5 million miles of European roads.
Drivers who make a wrong turn will be told by the sarcastic Scot: "Turn around when possible. It is advisable to turn your entire car around, do not just turn around inside the car."
And motorists failing to obey instructions will be in for an ear-bashing from the Big Yin when he says: "Make a U-turn, none of this would have been necessary had you been listening a minute ago."
Switch on the navigation device and the funny-man reassures users: "This really is Billy Connolly. It's not the creepy guy you get on cheap birthday cards.
"It's my real voice. No swearing, no dirty bits, I'll keep you safe."
The Billy Connolly turn-by-turn navigation is available to download for TomTom's 40 million customers, costing £8.99. Snoop Dogg, John Cleese and Eddie Izzard have previously recorded voice tracks for TomTom.
Thursday, April 1, 2010
Billy Connolly named Britain's favourite comic
By Mirror.co.uk 31/03/2010
Here's proof the old ones are the best - Billy Connolly has been voted Britain's favourite ever comedian.
A poll yesterday revealed people still prefer classic humour such as that of the veteran Scottish funnyman.
And in another snub to the new generation, Victoria Wood is second most-loved followed by the late Tommy Cooper. Modern stand-ups Michael McIntyre and Jimmy Carr were fourth and fifth.
The Ask Jeeves poll of 1,000 adults also revealed more than half of those quizzed think modern comedians swear too much. Spokesman Nadia Kelly said: "From Billy Connolly to Tommy Cooper, the old ones still make us laugh."
Top 10: 1 Billy Connolly 2 Victoria Wood 3 Tommy Cooper 4 Michael McIntyre 5 Lee Evans 6 Jimmy Carr 7 Les Dawson 8 Frank Skinner 9 Jim Davidson 10= Ricky Gervais & Bill Bailey
Monday, March 1, 2010
Talking to the Big Yin: An Interview with Billy Connolly
Comedian Billy Connolly has been bringing laughter to audiences on stage and on film since the 1960s - the Scottish comedian got his start as a musician and quickly found that his knack for on-stage banter suited him better for comedy than for music. He's been touring, recording comedy, and acting since then. Many people in the United States are familiar with him from his role as "Il Duce" in Boondock Saints and Boondock Saints 2: All Saints Day or his turn as a pedophile Catholic priest in the The X-Files: I Want to Believe. Connolly's known as the "The Big Yin" in Scotland. He's one of Britain's favorite comics — during a 2009 tour of Scotland, the ticket demand broke the theater's computer system. Loved by critics and audiences, and hailed as an influence by comics like Eddie Izzard, Connolly is one of the funniest comics to come across the Atlantic. We spoke to Connolly in advance of his appearance at the Bagley Wright Theatre March 12 and 13.
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Singer Darius Campbell falls victim to radio prankster posing as Billy Connolly
Feb 19 2010 Exclusive by Lachlan Mackinnon
POP star Darius Campbell fell hook, line and sinker for a radio prankster posing as Billy Connolly.
Funnyman Des McLean got Darius on the phone and pretended he was the Big Yin wishing him luck in tonight's final of ITV's Popstar To Operastar.
And trusting Darius gushed: "I'm talking to a legend. It's such a privilege to meet you."
The penny failed to drop for Darius as "Billy" subjected him to several minutes of outrageous ribbing.
He asked the former Pop Idol contestant if he was "the wee cheesy fellow who did the Britney Spears".
Then he urged Darius to get the better of fellow Popstar To Operastar finalist Bernadette Nolan and win the contest for Scotland.
Des told Darius: "Think of the shame of getting beat off someone who sings I'm In The Mood For Dancing.
"Just remember the end of Braveheart and think, 'If I can do this for Scotland'.
"We've not had a lot to shout about recently. Our football team's rubbish, the Old Firm - you could buy them now for the price of a Happy Meal.
"So now you're our last bastion - our man, Darius Campbell."
The skit, aired this morning on Clyde 1, got even cheekier as Des took the mickey out of Darius's upbringing in wealthy Bearsden, near Glasgow.
He told his victim: "This is what I love about you - the cockiness.
"You're from Bearsden. We used to go there on holiday.
"The kids in Bearsden think BMW are the first three letters of the alphabet.
"It's so posh the women don't go to the gym, they go to the James."
Darius took the merciless ribbing in his stride and told Des/Billy: "It's such a pleasure talking to you."
But then Clyde's breakfast DJ George Bowie broke the news to Darius that he'd been had.
George said: "The good news is, everyone's behind you in the final.
"The bad news is, that was Des kidding on he was Billy Connolly. He has that voice down to a T, does he not?"
Darius laughed and admitted: "He's got that voice down."
George said: "Des's Billy Connolly impersonation has fooled the likes of Sean Connery and Rod Stewart, so we were pretty confident it would work.
"Darius was a great sport about it. He's a top bloke and we'll all be voting for him in the final."
Monday, February 1, 2010
Billy Connolly opens Dee salmon season
Billy Connolly has formally opened the River Dee for the start of the 2010 salmon fishing season.
The Scottish comedian and actor took part in the official opening ceremony at Milton of Crathes in Aberdeenshire on Monday afternoon.
The Big Yin said of fishing: "I find it's meditative, it's very good for you."
River director of the Dee District Salmon Fishery Board, Mark Bilsby, said he expected another good season.
Mr Bilsby said: "The Dee enters 2010 in good spirits."
Broadcaster Clive Anderson opened the river last year.
Billy Connolly: 'I hate reality TV'
Sun Jan 31 2010 10:49:44Comedy legend Billy Connolly has taken a swipe at reality TV.
The Scottish star said: "It bores me to distraction. I get tired of watching people who are not very good at something.
"It's like watching a really rotten footabll team as opposed to a really good football team."
The stand-up comic and actor, who has also starred in a series of television documentaries, was speaking at the final South Bank Show Awards in London.
"It's much better to watch somebody who is practiced at something and got good at it than it is to watch somebody fumbling around trying to look famous," the 67-year-old added.
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