Thursday 9pm – 10pm, ITV
Over 25 years ago The Big Yin embarked on a series of road trips, taking on the length of the infamous Route 66, travelling from Halifax in Nova Scotia all the way to the Northwest Passage on Vancouver as well as traversing across the Arizona deserts and Louisiana swamplands. Sadly the stalwart of Scottish comedy has suffered in recent years with serious health problems, battling prostate cancer and Parkinson’s disease and as such has moved to Florida. This leg in his world tour simply shares his thoughts about his new home, Billy reflects that Florida has “a different vibe to the rest of the States. The people are loose…and as relaxed about the world as I am”.
Viewers may be startled by his change in appearance, the illnesses have clearly taken a toll but his zest for life, shining personality and downright hilarity shine through, he doesn’t rule out another naked bungee jump! Billy ambles through some well known Floridian areas, including Key West, Miami and the Everglades but also speaks about his time on other adventures, including the Arctic and Gateshead! Talking about his new life in Florida he reveals what he gets up to, including fishing at dawn, spending a lot of time with his beloved wife Pamela and meeting an alligator caller in the Everglades.
The comedian’s career spans over 40 years, he has been knighted for his services to entertainment and received numerous awards and was voted the greatest stand up comedian ever by both Channel 4 and Channel 5, yet his abilities are far beyond making people laugh. He is a talented musician and has appeared in many films, such as Pocahontas, Mrs Brown, Brave, The Last Samurai and The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. In recent years however he has been somewhat absent from new material with his illnesses, and this documentary feels sadly like it may be one of his last, he concludes with what feels like it may be his last travelogue, reflecting with “We’ve got to get over our fear of the foreigner if the world is to be a liveable place. Tolerance is the answer.”
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