Billy Connolly claimed Charles ‘would be a jolly King’ after basing acting role on Prince

Billy Connolly discusses Parkinson’s and cancer diagnoses

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Sir Billy Connolly is a renowned stand-up comic and musician who retired from the industry in December. While he is now focused on his life as an artist, he is set to appear in a new two-part series on BBC Two on Saturday to talk about the early influences on his comedy. The legendary figure has several acting accomplishments under his belt too, and has even starred opposite Dame Judi Dench.

Sir Billy’s success means he has rubbed shoulders with royalty as well — Prince Charles is said to be a good friend of the esteemed comedian’s.

It’s not surprising that Sir Billy chose to emulate his pal when he was playing the fictional character of King Theodore of Lilliput opposite Jack Black’s Gulliver back in 2010.

Discussing his role in the re-imagining of the classic story, ‘Gulliver’s Travels’, Sir Billy explained: “I tried to be a kind of Prince Charles sort of king.

“I think if he were king, he would be a jolly, casual sort of king.

“So I tried to be him. I rather like him.”

Charles was also invited to dinner at Sir Billy’s Aberdeenshire mansion Candacraig House, to celebrate the comic’s 60th birthday back in 2002.

His mansion is just 16 miles from the Royal Family’s Scottish home, Balmoral Castle.

According to reports at the time, Charles and his now wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, were not the only royals in attendance.

Prince Andrew was also there, while a handful of celebrities such as Sir Bob Geldof, Ewan MacGregor and Steve Martin also attended.

Hello! claimed: “Although some guests said they were looking forward to seeing Billy’s home because they’d never visited it, Charles wasn’t one of them — he has been a frequent guest before, with and without his sons William and Harry.”

Charles is often perceived as a more serious figure, intent on changing the world through his activism, so Sir Billy’s suggestion the Prince of Wales is likely to be a “jolly” monarch was unusual at the time.

According to the Daily Record, the comedian also mentioned how much he relished the role as monarch.

He admitted: “It’s terrific to be king.

“I have been the king for a long time and it is an absolute joy to swan around.

“So little is asked of you… you get the most sparkling uniform and the sword and you just swan around. It’s fabulous.”

Charles is said to enjoy acting and the arts just like his friend Sir Billy.

Royal biographer Sally Bedell Smith claimed the Prince of Wales’ experience with the performing arts society was “his zenith at Cambridge” during his time as a student there.

Sir Billy was also knighted at Buckingham Palace in 2017, and despite his association with the royals, he described the event as “a big bit nerve-racking”.

Speaking to Radio Times, he said: “You don’t want to make an a*** of it.

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“You think, ‘Oh God, don’t trip’. Or worry you might make a noise.

“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 at 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 through nerves.”

He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2013, a degenerative condition which damages parts of the brain over time.

When bowing out of comedy last December, the much-loved public figure released an emotional documentary to mark the occasion called ‘Billy Connolly: It’s been A Pleasure’.

He said: “I started low and I ended high.

“Just staying up there, until it is time to stop, seems a natural and good thing to do.

“It is a good thing to be proud of, I wanted to be a funnyman and I got it.”

Billy Connolly: Made In Scotland, Episode 1, will air tonight on BBC Two at 9pm.

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