25 Apr 2024

News Story

Billy Connolly posing at the pavillion

We are delighted to be launching a new interactive map for Scotland.

We are inviting people to share their own Billy Connolly memories, and beyond to demonstrate its love for the Big Yin. The map also marks the return of Dear Billy to stages from May 2024, celebrating Scotland’s most loved comedian, Billy Connolly.

Billy Connolly’s relationship with Scotland spans his extraordinary life and career over the last 80 years. The National Theatre of Scotland wants to create a map of all the places that have a personal connection to Billy, to help create a love letter from the people of Scotland to their favourite comedian.  They are inviting people to share their knowledge of Billy, stories, memories and photos, to make a living tribute to The Big Yin.

Billy Connolly toured the folk clubs, the grand theatres and workings men’s clubs of Scotland from 1970’s, retiring from live performance in 2018.

Born at 69 Dover Street, Anderston, he worked the shipyards of Glasgow’s Clydeside in the 1960’s, before taking to the road with folk rock band The Humblebums.

He made his theatrical debut, in 1972 at the Cottage Theatre in  Cumbernauld, ahead of performing in The Great Northern Welly Boot Show at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, also that year.

Billy first established himself as a star, selling out a run and breaking box office records at Glasgow’s Pavilion Theatre in Jan/Feb 1974, returning to the theatre on many occasions.

In January 1994, he undertook a World Tour of Scotland on a Harley Davidson, taking him from Kelso to Kirkwall with a stop off at Eden Court, Inverness, broadcast on the BBC later in the year. His love affair with his native country, continued with his residence at Candacraig House, in Aberdeenshire.

Gary McNair – writer and performer of Dear Billy said

“I'm delighted we are launching the Big Map for the Big Yin where people can pin their own stories and connections to Billy. As we learned when interviewing people to make this show- everyone has something to say about Billy, whether that's a memorable meeting or a connection to his work.

The great thing about the Big Map is that there is a space where people can continue to share and hopefully build an interactive document about what he means to us all”

I'm beyond giddy to be bringing the show Dear Billy back so soon after it's tour last year. It is a genuine honour to have been trusted to make this show, Billy is so important to so many people that it was so well received was a dream come true. I can't wait to get back on the road with the band and meet new amazing audience”,

Further information on the map and how to be involved can be found here