And the Scottish actor and comic is vowing to work until the day he dies despite being in his seventh year of the condition.
That is the insight from Sir Billy’s long-term friend and comic Kevin Bloody Wilson.
The Australian, who boasts a four-decade friendship with the Big Yin, insists that Sir Billy remains in reasonable health.
Kevin said: “It is tough to see him go through that. I have seen worse, but again Billy’s nature is what is getting him through.
“And the fact is that Billy is a funny b*****d and he does see the funny side of it.” Kevin, 72, insists Sir Billy’s recent comments saying he was “near the end” have been taken out of context.
He said: “Billy is still doing live shows, and I think he, like all of us live entertainers, will be out there doing it until we die because it is not what you do, it is who you are.”
The Scottish comedian, 76, who is married to Not The Nine O’Clock News comedy legend Pamela Stephenson, 69, has recently been pictured looking frailer than in the past.
Sir Billy has joked about his shaky hand, over which he has little control. He admitted in a BBC documentary in January that his diagnosis with the degenerative brain condition meant he was now “at the wrong end of the telescope of life”.
Sir Billy said: “My life is slipping away and I can feel it and I should.
“I’m a damn sight nearer the end than I am the beginning.
“But it doesn’t frighten me – it’s an adventure.
“It’s as if I’m being prepared for something, some other adventure, which is over the hill.” Kevin, who is planning a US tour in the next few months, says he turns to Sir Billy and another friend, pop superstar Sir Elton John, as a test of his controversial material.
And he is planning to push back against political correctness.
He said: “My formula for writing is to make my friends laugh – and if they laugh it is good enough.
“I have not changed my formula. If I become the voice of PC push back I am happy for that.
“I didn’t intend to do that, but it has got to the stage where comedy is now being dictated to by people who are not funny.”
He added: “Someone in the industry needs to say: ‘Hang on a second, people laugh, it is a natural emotion, it is the same as a sex life.’
“And using that same analogy, I believe if you have a good sex life, and you laugh a lot, there is a real chance you will enjoy the ride.”
● For further information on Kevin, see facebook.com/KevinBloodyWilsonOfficial
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