I have had Billy Connolly in my bones since I was a wee girl and now, as an adult, I still adore him as much as, if not more than, I did back then.  He is the reason I do comedy.  He has had a massive influence on me and my life.  He gave me permission to make fun of everything and go boldly into this world, daring to speak the truth and to have no fear.  He is like some kind of uncle-Godfather figure to me and now I get to write about him as part of my job.

I wrote this piece a week ago and, by coincidence, this week he was voted the most influential British comedian of all time.  I knew that already, of course, and to the Glasgow comics and fans, this comes as no surprise.

In recent years I have heard people saying things like, ‘Billy Connolly’s not funny any more’ and ‘The Big Man’s lost it’ and it infuriates me.  What more do they want from him? He’s almost seventy, for f’s sake!  And he was the one who started it for us all; there would be no Frankie Boyle, no Kevin Bridges, no Janey Godley without him.  He talked about the tragedy of the human condition; ‘life with the knickers down’ – and made us laugh at ourselves. He paved the way for the rest of us who dreamed of doing the same. But none of us can or will ever touch him; he is the original and still the best.

We must remember what he gave us: He has recorded around 30 albums, written three full-length plays for theatre, appeared in around forty films, made hundreds of television guest appearances – over and above his constant touring all across the globe and endless charity work for Comic Relief and beyond.  He has already given the world more than enough.  He is a genius and an inspiration to millions.  And he came from nothing.

This was published today in The List, and I couldn’t be prouder.  Gaun yersel Big Yin!  You are – and always will be – my number one hero! http://www.list.co.uk/article/40227-keara-patricia-murphy-my-comedy-hero-billy-connolly/