Billy Connolly: From Big Yinning to End | BBC Scotland launches a major season dedicated to the comedy pioneer

Billy Connolly: From Big Yinning to End

BBC Scotland launches a major season dedicated to the comedy pioneer

BBC Scotland has announced a major celebration of Billy Connolly, based around the latest documentary series about the 77-year-old comedian.

The previously announced Billy And Us – billed as both a retrospective of the Glaswegian’s career and a ‘social history of Scotland’ – will kick off the first of six episodes at 10pm next Thursday.

It features the Big Yin reflecting on his life alongside treasures from the archives, discussing subjects including the shipyards, sex, religion, class and politics.

Connolly said: ‘All my life I’ve wanted to make people laugh. While I might have been shocking, I never set out to shock, I just did what I thought was funny, but looking back I can see that by sending up what was around me at the time, I might well have ended up breaking down barriers and taking on the odd taboo.’

He reviews a range of archive film throughout the series, ranging from classic routines and interviews to rare documentary footage.

Steve Carson, head of multiplatform commissioning at BBC Scotland, said: Billy’s story is in part Scotland’s story, and the series also traces the social history of the country that helped shaped him.’

The season will include the 1993 drama Down Among The Big Boys, starring Billy Connolly and written by Peter McDougall, and the 1997 film Mrs Brown in which the comic played loyal servant of Queen Victoria, played by Judi Dench.

There will also be a screening of the Bafta tribute shown on the BBC in 2002, Connolly’s episode of Who Do You Think You Are, the 2018 series Billy Connolly: Made In Scotland and the 2017 documentary Billy Connolly: Portrait Of A Lifetime, about the BBC Scotland project in which three artists - John Byrne, Rachel Maclean, and Jack Vettriano - created murals of Connolly to adorn Glasgow.

Published: 6 May 2020

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