Billy Connolly received his “Life Time Achievement Award” at the Edinburgh TV Festival this week.

In my opinion, there is no better Scottish comic and I don’t think there ever will be.

I can remember being a teenager sitting in Shettleston, watching the telly, and on came the Parkinson chat show. Billy Connolly walked on and didn’t look like a comedian, he wasn’t wearing a sharp suit or dressed as a woman humpfing up his fake boobs or topped in a bowler hat doing a funny walk about the streets of Westminster, he looked like my big brother. He didn’t have the usual accent of all the comedians that dominated the screens back then, with their clipped received pronunciation, he spoke like me and used slang words without shame.

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He wore flares, had a head of untameable hair and his body was draped over the studio seat like he was waiting on his turn at the social security counter in Govan.

He ran his fingers through his big mop head, laughed with his mouth open and didn’t care you could see his baggy socks, what was he thinking? Had he forgotten his suit and shiny shoes?

It was a heart-stopping moment for me. Had this mad Glasgow guy just wandered on and sabotaged Britain’s most revered chat show? Who is this big daft hippy and why does he look like he doesn’t care about anything?

Connolly went onto tell a big rambling joke and the punchline burst the audience into screams of laughter. I didn’t know comedy could be storytelling, it literally made me buckle with giggles and his style of comedy has never stopped making me laugh. He is a genius.

Every Scottish household that I knew of had a Billy Connolly LP that was pulled out shoved on the record player as whole families gathered around and listened to the Partick boy mock the crucifixion. The swearing was tolerated and excused because “It's Billy” and that was ok. He was holding a mirror up to religious dogma way before edgy comedians were sitting in wee clubs trying to craft a punchline about Mary and her donkey.

He made working-class people laugh and embrace their poverty without shame. The “Coats on the Beds” story was something that many of us could relate to, it was no longer something to hide, we could laugh at it as we coped with it.

He told people he was poor as a kid, he spoke about getting a bath in a sink, he shamed the teachers that smacked wee Glasgow kids, there was no subject untouched, he picked up every dirty stone from his childhood, turned it around, and threw it back at audiences to laugh at. A skill very few people can ever hope to achieve.

It's no secret that some of the Scottish Press had turned on him years ago as the ‘Tall Poppy Syndrome’ of self-hate had permeated with “Aye, he’s too big for his boots, forgets where he came from” and other snide lines were sneaking into print.

Billy hasn’t forgotten where he came from and his boots will never be filled.

He dealt with this negativity in his own way and rode it out over the years and became a National Hero.

His visits home and many TV shows about his travels have been embraced the world over. We all want to see the Highlands of Scotland and the banjo pluckers of New Orleans through his eyes. He is compelling viewing, his mere appearance onscreen brings a smile before he even opens his mouth.

Billy brings joy.

His Scottish accent and global ability to make the mundane subjects of everyday life into hilarious comedy routines was way ahead of its time, he was breaking ground when other comics never knew that ground existed.

He has the unique ability to make people feel happy around him, I know this, I have met him and he came to see my comedy show in New Zealand. He just makes people happy.

My favourite story about Billy Connolly is this. About eight years ago, I was making a wee documentary for BBC Radio Scotland. I was going round Glasgow and speaking to people about their appreciation of him. So, I and a lovely radio producer walked into a wee Glasgow ‘man's pub’ and there at the bar was an older man in a sharp suit and tie (it was a Tuesday morning). He was playing dominoes and downing pints. I thought ‘He looks like a character’. I approached him, held up the microphone and said “Can you tell me what you think of Billy Connolly?”

He frowned, put down his pint, and replied “Why is he dead?”

“Yes, he is and this is how the BBC is informing people, we are going round all the pubs, telling folk individually” I replied.

My radio producer was plucking nervously at my sleeve and the man turned on his bar stool and simply said: “Yes, that exactly how you should tell us”

I explained Billy was alive and this was a radio show about his life and in true Glasgow style the man nodded his head, gulped his pint, and went back to his dominoes.

I told Billy this story recently and he ran his hands through his hair and laughed with his head flung back, just like I first saw him all those years ago.

He can make the darkest subjects and the most horrific pain seem laughable and he can swear like nobody else, he makes cursing almost Celtic poetry and for that I am eternally grateful.

Billy Connolly will always be my comedy hero, he deserves the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Edinburgh TV festival, for simply making comedy look that easy and travelling that far.