General News

Billy Connolly struggles with memory loss on stage

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Apr 22, 2013 | 6:11am EDT

Scottish actor/comic Billy Connolly struggled through a stand-up show in Northern Ireland over the weekend (20-21Apr13) as he battled a "terrifying" bout of memory loss. The Gulliver's Travels star suffered a series of mental blanks while he was on stage at the Waterfront Hall in Belfast on Saturday (20Apr13), and repeatedly apologised to the audience as he forgot the punchlines to jokes and lost his train of thought. According to Scotland's Daily Record, Connolly, 70, told the crowd, "This is f**king terrifying. I feel like I'm going out of my mind... This is f**king awful. I can't remember what I was saying. I get wee (small) gaps and just stop." Connolly helped keep himself on track by asking audience members to give him prompts, and he received cheers of support and encouragement from the crowd. Gig-goer Peter Sullivan tells the newspaper, "He's a comedy hero and it was obvious from the audience on Saturday night that they'd forgive him just about anything and that includes his memory loss. It didn't do anything to affect the show. "People seemed very sympathetic when he had those attacks on stage and the audience just wanted him to keep going. They sort of carried him to the next joke and punchline. It was brilliant."

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