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> Billy Connolly Gets Freedom Of Glasgow, The Big Yin humbled by award
GG
post 21st Aug 2010, 08:50am
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Billy Connolly was awarded the freedom of the city of Glasgow at a ceremony in the city chambers last night. Affectionately known as "The Big Yin", Connolly was given the award in recognition of his long career in comedy, film and television, as well as his charity work.

The 67-year-old comedian, who yesterday delivered a rousing eulogy in memory of his late friend Jimmy Reid, attended the ceremony in flamboyant Comme des Garcons tartan strides and dark jacket.

Connolly, arguably the most-famous Glaswegian in the world, said that he was hugely honoured to receive the award, although admitted that he did not know of the existence of the freedom of the city prior to being nominated for it in June this year. However, demonstrating that he had since read-up on the benefits of the freedom, The Big Yin quipped:

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"This has taken my breath away. I am completely blown away. I am thrilled and I can't really put into words how I feel about it. Apparently I have to defend Glasgow if called to, which I am perfectly prepared to do and which I have done on many, many occasions in the past.

But if I commit a crime and am flung in jail, I am entitled to a cell of my own, which I would like more than anything in the world."

Connolly, who lives in homes in New York and Aberdeenshire, said he was hugely proud to be a Glawegian but was sometimes stunned by the rate of change in his home city, and felt nostalgic for the city of his past.

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"I don’t dwell on where I come from. It's a great trap to fall into. I meet all these guys all over world, particularly from Govan and the Gorbals, who say 'Never forget where you come from', and of course I don’t, but it can be a mistake to dwell on it. You can get a bit, 'Och aye the noo'. But I’m immensely proud of Glasgow. And as soon as I open my mouth, you can tell where I come from."

The Anderston-born comedian, who once famously joked that Glasgow's most-endearing quality was that if the city was hit in a nuclear attack it would look exatly the same afterwards, added:

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"There's nothing I would change about Glasgow. In fact, it changes too much for me. I come back and the trendy restaurant isn’t the trendy restaurant any more. It gets brighter and brighter but I liked it the way it was. When I think of Glasgow I see Renfield Street; it’s raining, there’s cobbles. It was beautiful. It was like Las Vegas."

Messages of congratulation were sent by other freemen of the city of Glasgow including Nelson Mandela, Jim Watt, Sir Alex Ferguson and Kenny Dalglish.


Billy Connolly performing 'I wish I was in Glasgow' in Belfast.

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Anne1
post 21st Aug 2010, 09:03am
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Well done Billy biggrin.gif


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norriep
post 21st Aug 2010, 09:52am
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I would dearly have loved to see Pastor Jack Glass' face... biggrin.gif

PS to the under 50s - Pastor Jack Glass was a joyless wee bampot who use to protest outside Billy's shows in the 70s and 80s. He must have been worth millions in free publicity. Not sure whether it was Billy's material or his natal catholicism he objected to. I suspect both.
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norriep
post 21st Aug 2010, 10:07am
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Ha! Thought I had this. A photo of Billy rearranging the family silver at the Paisley Folk Club 25th anniversary bash in the early 80s. He had been invited, but didn't reply as he was wasn't sure he could make it. He walked in to the Silver Thread Hotel off the street, played some songs, told a few stories and left us all in stitches.

Sorry about the quality of the photie - scanned from a dodgy negative on a cheap scanner.


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GG
post 21st Aug 2010, 11:01am
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Brilliant photo, thanks for taking the time to scan, Norrie. The Big Yin looks like he's having a good time!

I think some of us forget how hard it must have been for Billy early in his career, establishing himself as a somewhat unique act. He must have had tremendous confidence in his own abilities and talents.

P.S. there's a 'Pastor Jack Glass' topic on GGDB for those interested:

http://discuss.glasgowguide.co.uk/index.php?showtopic=1084

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Jim D
post 21st Aug 2010, 11:56am
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I remember in the early 70's (1974?) he did a gig at "THe Marlborough" at Shawlands Cross for the Bellarmine FP's. Him and the 3rd City String Band. He cost £75 on that occasion. The next year he was charging £1000 and the following year he was selling out the Appollo!


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auldbutcher
post 21st Aug 2010, 12:18pm
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Weel done billsybob here a funny thing when i have a wee dream aboot glesga its rainin and there is cobbles, hi youse anywan know why they got rid o them.. Wee pastor glass like a said afore was a blow up fer a guy in a holy picture ah wance saw it wis judas the grass, iwies mind o him thrown the florins or wis it hauf croons saying Connoly blasphemer, jasus wonders if there wis any weans aboot they widda thought the perr o them wis getting married biggrin.gif ..

Thing is it made headlines in the paper ,wee bit o free publicity didnae dae any harm did it Billy laugh.gif wonders whit happened tae the wee pastor, did he get wise an say tae hell wie it theres mair money in it, an became a staun up comic lol
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*sheila buddle*
post 21st Aug 2010, 12:31pm
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Absolutely brilliant! - and about time too.
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Jupiter
post 21st Aug 2010, 12:42pm
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I saw Billy three years ago and can honestly say Ive never laughed so much in my life.My wife thought I was about to take a heart attack.What a night.
Well done Billy and congratulations.
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troutmask
post 21st Aug 2010, 12:57pm
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Well I'm a bit disappointed about Billy Connolly accepting the freedom of the city thing. I am a big fan of Billy Connolly, but at his best he was always edgy, and a bit of an untamed outsider. I could be wrong, but I feel political accolades is something that tames the outsider type of comedian. I could never see Lenny Bruce accepting the freedom of New York City.. not that they would have ever offered it to him.. and thats my point, they only give these things if they think you wont frighten the horses.
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wee davy
post 21st Aug 2010, 01:10pm
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QUOTE (auldbutcher @ 21st Aug 2010, 01:28pm) *
Weel done billsybob here a funny thing when i have a wee dream aboot glesga its rainin and there is cobbles, hi youse anywan know why they got rid o them..


I'm really pleased for Billy's honour - ah think he gets permission to drive sheep or cattle through the toon as well, diz he no?

In answer to your question, butch - apart from the ease of repairing tarmac, the only other reason I can find for removing cobbles (correct term, rectangular setts I believe, in Renfield Street?), is the noise factor. Although as you've noticed, they have appeared quite extensively once again, all over the UK, in pedestrianised streets, as a SAFETY feature, for people to HEAR any oncoming vehicles!!

There's always SOME smert a**e aroond, somewhere - as the Big Yin, might've said! laugh.gif


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bilbo.s
post 21st Aug 2010, 01:23pm
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Does all this mean I can re-post his censored "blasphemous" clip on religion, complete with sweary words ?

rolleyes.gif Naw, didnae think so!!


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auldbutcher
post 21st Aug 2010, 01:27pm
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Thanks smart ass laugh.gif aye Davy the thing is the cobbles lasted a lot longer than the tarmac i wance wis employed on the roads davy and the tarmac jobs were first class nooadays the cowboy firms daen this work are a bluddy joke .

Its aw heavy machinery noo daen the job no long efter i had retired fae work as a butcher there was a firm employed ootside my windae repairin the road whit a saw there widda lead tae the whole gang bein dismissed oota haun if they had worked fer Robert McCarrol o bishopbriggs.

Mibbies get Billy tae open a butchers shop wie aw these sheep an cattle gies a job am desperate dan laugh.gif
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wee davy
post 21st Aug 2010, 01:30pm
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QUOTE (bilbo.s @ 21st Aug 2010, 02:33pm) *
Does all this mean I can re-post his censored "blasphemous" clip on religion, complete with sweary words ?

rolleyes.gif Naw, didnae think so!!


ye kin fer me, bilbo - bit be careful - ye might be fer the high jump, pal! ah kin see the bizzies comin doon the lane noo fur ye! hahaha

you must be oan yer umtydumtyeth warning lol laugh.gif


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wee davy
post 21st Aug 2010, 01:36pm
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"Noo where's thon Bully Connolly fella? Bert he husnae got a statue tae him yit!"

(ye use the wee edit button, butch - if yer quick enough - other than that ye nee tae gie GG a call smile.gif


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