Sir Billy Connolly to make TV comeback with new five-part series for comedy channel
The Glaswegian star had appeared to take his final bow on television last December in a one-off ITV documentary which featured tributes from stars like Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Elton John, Sir Lenny Henry, Dustin Hoffman, Russell Brand and Whoopi Goldberg.
But now it has emerged that a new five-part series promising to provide “an unrivalled glimpse into his life” has been commissioned by UKTV for its Gold comedy channel.
Currently in production and due to air later this year, it will be filmed in and around Connolly’s home in Florida, as the star takes a “reflective look back” at some of his classic routines.
Production company Moonshire Features, which is making the series for UKTV, is said to have secured “incredible access” to Connolly and his family’s personal archives of material.
The series is also expected to see Connolly, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2013, reflect on his life after his retirement from live performances three years ago.
Connolly said: “I’m really looking forward to sharing a few of my favourite moments from over the years. It’s been brilliant, and I hope you’ll come along for the ride!”
UKTV’s announcement about the series states: “Each episode will cover a particular topic, whether that’s work, sex, travel, childhood and parenthood or love and marriage and will showcase classic and hidden treasures of Billy’s stand up routines.
"The series, which is shot in and around his Florida home, will provide an intimate guide to Billy’s relationship with his material, as well as offering insights into his life.”
Iain Coyle, head of comedy entertainment at UKTV, said: "So, this is a career highlight, working with one of, if not THE, greatest comedians of all time.
"I feel incredibly privileged that Billy and his family have given us access, not only to his incredible archive, but also to their everyday lives."
Casey added: "We're thrilled to welcome the legendary Billy Connolly to Gold.
"Moonshine Features have secured incredible access for this series and we can't wait to hear all of the hilarious and, at times, ridiculous life lessons from one of the all-time greats."
Series director Mike Reilly said: "I've been lucky enough to have worked with Billy for some time now and the one thing that never ceases to amaze me is how easy he makes it for everyone to be in his company, how the laughter, the pearls of wisdom and the shaggy dog tales never seem to stop.
"To have the opportunity to show all of that while trawling through a treasure trove of amazing comedy is just a dream come true."
Connolly announced earlier this year that he was working on his first ever autobiography, Windswept and Interesting, which is due to be published in October.
He said at the time: “It’s the first time I’ve done this. Other people have written about me – or for me – but this time it’s just my own life in my own words.”