William "Billy" Connolly, Jr., CBE is a Scottish comedian, musician, presenter and actor. He is sometimes known, especially in his native Scotland, by the nickname The Big Yin (The Big One). His first trade, in the early 1960s, was as a welder (specifically a boilermaker) in the Glasgow shipyards, but he gave it up towards the end of the decade to pursue a career as a folk singer in the Humblebums and subsequently as a soloist. In the early 1970s he made the transition from folk-singer with a comedic persona to fully-fledged comedian, a role in which he continues. He also became an actor, and has appeared in such films as Mrs. Brown (1997), for which he was nominated for a BAFTA; The Boondock Saints (1999); The Last Samurai (2003); Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004); and The X-Files: I Want to Believe (2008).
All roads lead home.
‘After my knighthood was announced, a woman from the BBC came to Glasgow to interview me. We sat down in a lovely hotel in a nice part of town, and she hit me with her first question: “This must mean a lot to you, with you coming from nothing?” I looked at her, and I laughed.
“I did’nae come from nothing,” I told her. “I come from something.”
I grew up in the tenements of post-war Glasgow. I am very proud to be working class, and especially a working-class Glaswegian who has worked in the shipyards. I come from the working class. And, most of all, I come from Scotland.
Scotland is a unique and wonderful place. Its national motto says a lot about it: Nemo me impune lacessit. A decent translation might be: ‘By all means punch me in the nose but prepare yourself for a kick in the arse.’
I did’nae come from nothing: I come from Scotland. And this book is about why I will always be happy and proud that I do.’