Lysette Anthony says Billy Connelly sparked Parkinson's realisation
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Hollyoaks actress Lysette Anthony opened up about how she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease during an appearance on Tuesday’s Loose Women. The star discussed with the panel about how she has learned to cope with the illness as she admitted she tried to hide it at first. The soap star went on to explain that it was Sir Billy Connolly who made her realise she had Parkinson’s.
SIR BILLY CONNOLLY, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2013, helped Hollyoaks actress Lysette Anthony to recognise her own symptoms of the illness.
Billy Connolly was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2013, and he decided to retire from doing live stand-up comedy gigs five years later.
Parkinson’s disease is a condition in which parts of the brain become progressively damaged over many years.
A person with Parkinson’s disease can experience a wide range of physical and psychological symptoms.
As Lysette sat down with the Loose Women panel, she said: “Can I just do a copy of Billy Connolly?”
The actress continued: “Do you know his routine which is absolutely fantastic where he basically says, ‘don’t symptom watch because I’ve got Parkinson’s?'”
She explained the comedian was told to put his hands in his pockets if he started to shake.
“He said, ‘Unfortunately he didn’t tell me which pocket’,” the actress laughed.
Charlene White chipped in: “It’s important you mention Billy Connolly because that was the spark that made you realise that perhaps you had Parkinson’s?”
“Because you were listening to his Desert Island Discs?” Charlene asked.
“It was,” the actress agreed as she continued: “It was a profound knowledge.
“Just hearing him talk, I just thought, ‘That’s what I’ve got’.”
Carol McGiffin asked: “So is that must have been something you suspected for a long time, that something was a little bit wrong, but you didn’t face up to it, is that right?”
Lysette explained: “It’s more that I’ve always got nervous kept going on stage, but it started to get worse.
“I was completely fine until I had to light a cigarette on stage and I just couldn’t.
“And that’s when Sophie Ward, Dr Sophie Ward now, she said, ‘It’s almost like your hands don’t match your body’.”
“How did you get it confirmed because it’s not easy to diagnose?” Carol went on to ask.
Lycette explained when she saw her doctor, she was able to tell by simply walking behind her.
Referring back to Billy, she added: “Apparently Billy was walking in an airport and someone walked behind him and once you know what it is, you can see your muscles start to twist.
“That’s when the worst is… the shuffle and you’re unable to function in the same way in terms of movement.
“When I finally got to see a consultant, he literally walked behind me and there are certain tests and he said, ‘Yes, you have [Parkinson’s]’.”
Loose Women airs weekdays at 12.30pm on ITV.
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