Patrick Kielty admits Billy Connolly is the only person to have left him stunned
He’s met Muhammad Ali, Neil Armstrong and Nelson Mandela, but comedian Patrick Kielty admits Billy Connolly is the only person to make him weak in the knees.
The Northern Irish comedian said Big Yin was a lifelong link to his father Jack, who was murdered by loyalist paramilitaries in 1988 when Patrick was just 16.
The 51-year-old, who is back for the first time in seven years, revealed he used to listen to Connolly tapes in his father’s car and they laughed together until what they cry.
Speaking ahead of the Scottish leg of his UK tour, Patrick, who is married to TV presenter Cat Deeley, said: “The only time I was blown away was when I met Billy Connolly. My legs turned to jelly and I couldn’t speak.
“I met legends Muhammad Ali, Neil Armstrong and Nelson Mandela, but coming face to face with my comedy hero was far more exciting and left me with a shaky wreck.
“Billy was such an important part of my childhood. My dad was a builder, so the language in our house was pretty colorful at the best of times. His ‘f-words’ were openly tolerated.
“I would give anything to be 14 again and sitting in my dad’s car listening to Connolly’s tapes and laughing so hard we ended up crying. These are such special memories. He’s a massive bond with my dad.
The father-of-two, who will perform his new show Borderline in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness and Aberdeen in June, added: “I couldn’t believe when I met him he actually knew my name.
“He asked me if I was still playing in goal because the last time he saw me was in 2011 I was playing for Manchester United against Celtic at Parkhead in John Kennedy’s testimonial.
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“My legs nearly fell out from under me. Not only did the great Billy Connolly know who I was, he had seen me play against his beloved Celtic. It doesn’t get better than that.
Patrick, dad to Milo, six, and James, three, also credit Big Yin for inspiring him to talk about growing up in Ulster on his new show.
The former Fame Academy presenter, who grew up in Dundrum, County Down, said: “There’s a lot in this show about my childhood in Northern Ireland and how that made me feel. got the world watching and it’s thanks to Billy Connolly.
“He used to sit in London next to Michael Parkinson and tell him what it was like growing up in Glasgow. It was a big lesson for me.
“For a long time I thought no one would be interested in hearing about my past, but he gave me the courage to talk about it and, it turns out, people want to know.
“Until now, I’ve never talked about what happened to my dad in my stand-up, but when you’re doing a show about division, you have to mention the bullshit that happened when your country was Split.”
Borderline sees Patrick return to his satirical roots with a personal take on borders, national identity and the future of the union in a post-Brexit landscape.
As a native of Northern Ireland, who grew up near the Irish border, the show delves into the recent history of his homeland to try to make sense of what the new borders and political upheaval of Brexit mean for our common identities.
Patrick, who married Cat in Italy in 2012, said: “The world has been turned upside down in recent years and thanks to Brexit we are more obsessed with borders and national identity than ever before.
“With Northern Ireland at the center of it all, it’s a good time to get back on stage and try to figure out where we’re headed.
“I grew up in a country where people wanted to kill each other because of a border. We fixed this place and made peace by letting go of borders and realizing that all is not black and white.
“We were in deep shit and we got out of it, so why go back? It really is a crazy time where the UK is more fractured than ever.
The entertainer, who hopes to enjoy a round of golf with his brother while in Scotland, added: “It will be interesting to play the show in Scotland at a time when the Tory and Unionist parties may end up causing the split of the duo. union.
“It’s amazing to think that if there is an independent Scotland and Scotland rejoins the EU, there will be a land border at Hadrian’s Wall. How will this work?
“Growing up here I thought we were bats** not crazy, but I realized we were regular people going through crazy bat** times and sometimes people crazier than us took crazy decisions they hadn’t thought about and it’s happening again. I love the Scottish public and can’t wait to hear their reaction.
Patrick admitted that getting back into the saddle standing up wasn’t easy.
He said: “My last stand-up show was seven years ago when we lived in the United States and were about to have our oldest, Milo.
“Playing was like putting high heels back on. It was quite uncomfortable at first but I learned to walk in them and now I’ve got my sea legs back and it feels good.
Borderline is coming to Scotland June 1-4. Tickets on: www.mickperrin.com