Sir Billy Connolly has described himself as the “least patriotic man in the world” and said he dislikes people who “write England off because they’re Scottish”.
The Scottish actor and comedian will be seen in the first episode of the Sky Arts TV series Tate Britain’s Great Art Walks, where he joins art historian and curator Gus Casely-Hayford on a walking tour which will focus on the influences of English painter Stanley Spencer.
Asked about his choice of doing a programme which focuses on a British painter, as a Scotsman, Sir Billy said: “I’m the least patriotic man in the world. I do love Scotland, but if the love for your country is all you have, you’re in a desperate state.
“I dislike people that write England off because they’re Scottish. It’s unfair and brutal.”
The Glasgow-born star, 75, who has enjoyed a successful acting career alongside his life in comedy, revealed in 2013 that he was being treated for the initial symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
He was knighted at Buckingham Palace in 2017 and said being given the honour was “a big bit nerve-racking”.
He said: “You don’t want to make an arse of it. You think, ‘Oh God, don’t trip’. Since I’ve got Parkinson’s, I’m a bit dodgy getting down on one knee – I don’t do it all that well. And then I had to walk backwards to a certain point, but I managed it fine.
“I’m sure Prince William will think I’m a mentally ill person. I answered his questions in the most stupid fashion just though nerves.”
Sir Billy, who has been married to Pamela Stephenson for 28 years, said there was “no secret to it all” when asked about their marriage.
He added: “If you listen to the song The Glory of Love [covered by singers including Bette Midler and Dean Martin]: “You’ve got to give a little, take a little/Sometimes let your poor heart break a little/That’s the story of, and that’s the glory of love.” It’s all in there.”