16:54 11 January 2016
73-year-old comedian Billy Connolly is to receive a special recognition award that will honour his 50-year career. The award will be presented by his friend, actor Dustin Hoffman, at the National Television Awards later this month.
Billy started performing comedy in the early 1970s and his career began in a folk band with Gerry Rafferty called the Humblebums. His career has taken him around the world and he was voted number one in Channel 4’s 100 Greatest Stand Ups poll.
Billy, who just performed the first of 16 nights at the Apollo Hammersmith in London, was treated for prostate cancer and Parkinson’s Disease in 2013.
Meanwhile, it was BBC’s Play for Today in 1975 that launched his acting career. He also hosted a number of TV specials and travelogues, including Billy Connolly’s Route 66, in which he travelled from the east to the west coast of US.
In 1998, he was nominated for a best actor Bafta for his role in 1997 film Mrs Brown, where he played opposite Dame Judi Dench. In 2012, he received the outstanding career award by Bafta Scotland.
Broadcaster and fellow Scot Armando Iannucci said: "It's unbelievable and yet no surprise that we're celebrating fifty years of Billy Connolly.
"Because he doesn't compromise, because he doesn't fit a label, he has no shelf life, he's not part of a phase. He's unique. You can't really sum him up."
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