Billy Connolly has revealed that his perfect funeral would see his body pilfered by roadies and buried beneath a tree.
“I’d like my body to be stolen and buried in a sheet with a tree on top of me,” the 71-year-old tells Yahoo Movies. “Have the funeral, but an empty box and me be buried somewhere else, just in a hole in the ground.”
The Glaswegian comedian was recently diagnosed with both prostate cancer and Parkinson’s disease. He also spent time in hospital being treated for gallstones. “I was like, ‘what the f***,” you know?” he says. “Seventy years of nothing and then this.”
The star is appearing in new British comedy ‘What We Did On Our Holiday’, co-starring David Tennant and Rosamund Pike. Shot in Scotland, Connolly plays Tennant’s father, who is suffering from a terminal illness.
“I get annoyed at my body breaking down,” he admits. “When I was told I had cancer, it’s a weird word. I was told on the phone, ‘we’ve done the tests and I’m afraid you have cancer.’ And I said to him, ‘nobody’s ever said that to me before.’ Then I had to go in and see the surgeon who had drawn the prostate and the bladder and was describing what he was going to do and he said, ‘you’re not going to die.’ But it never crossed my mind, although it was cancer. I knew Frank Zappa had died of it, but it never crossed my mind that it might happen to me. I’ve never seen myself in that equation.”
‘What We Did On Our Holiday’ comes from the makers of TV’s ‘Outnumbered’ and features similar kids interacting spontaneously with adults, with hilarious results.
As no-nonsense Gordy, Connolly shares a lot of scenes with his young co-stars as their grandfather.
“I’m not going to get young hero roles anymore, not that I’ve ever had any,” he says. “I’ve always played hairy weirdoes and disappointed people and that suits me lovely.”
But while he wants his body to spend eternity under a tree, does he think about going to Heaven?
“No, I don’t. I think the lights go out,” he says. “That’s been a long-held belief.”
‘What We Did On Our Holiday’ is in cinemas now.