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A laughing matter of life and death for Billy.

Byline: tellytalk WITH MARION MCMULLEN tellytalk WITH MARION MCMULLEN

BILLY CONNOLLY'S having the last laugh when it comes to the Grim Reaper.

BILLY CONNOLLY'S having the last laugh when it comes to the Grim Reaper.

The Big Yin's recent health scares have led to him looking at the death business from a highly personal point of view.

The Big Yin's recent health scares have led to him looking at the death business from a highly personal point of view.

So there were zombie-proof coffins and party packs of embalming fluid alongside drive-through funeral homes and eco-death suits that act as fertile ground for mushrooms.

So there were zombie-proof coffins and party packs of embalming fluid alongside drive-through funeral homes and eco-death suits that act as fertile ground for mushrooms.

Billy Connolly's Big Send Off on ITV saw the Scottish comedian indulge in authentic grave humour as he visited a city for the dead in California which houses the remains of 1.5 million people... along with a pet cemetery for dogs, cats, hamsters and even sea lions.

hamsters and even sea lions.

It could have been an orgy of bad taste, but Billy (pictured) highlighted both the humour and grief of the funeral business. One plaque that had him smiling simply said: "I met my wife at the travel agents. She was looking for a holiday and I was the last resort."

It could have been an orgy of bad taste, but Billy (pictured) highlighted both the humour and grief of the funeral business. One plaque that had him smiling simply said: "I met my wife at the travel agents. She was looking for a holiday and I was the last resort."

Billy himself seemed a little vulnerable and fragile as he invited viewers to "join him on the Other Side".

Billy himself seemed a little vulnerable and fragile as he invited viewers to "join him on the Other Side".

He told of how he found out he needed a deaf aid one day, heartburn pills the next and was diagnosed with prostate cancer and Parkinson's disease the next.

He told of how he found out he needed a deaf aid one day, heartburn pills the next and was diagnosed with prostate cancer and Parkinson's disease the next.

So now he's sweeping away the taboos surrounding death and the best part of this So now he's sweeping away the taboos surrounding death and the best part of this documentary saw him sitting with Monty Python's Eric Idle discussing their final curtain calls and roaring with laughter.

discussing their final curtain calls and roaring with laughter.

Eric revealed his funeral plan of fireworks and Halloween-style costumes as Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life plays while Billy decided he wanted tiny lettering on his gravestone so people would have to step on his burial plot to read it and trigger a sensor pad recording of him roaring out "You're standing on my balls".

Eric revealed his funeral plan of fireworks and Halloween-style costumes as Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life plays while Billy decided he wanted tiny lettering on his gravestone so people would have to step on his burial plot to read it and trigger a sensor pad recording of him roaring out "You're standing on my balls".

It's enough to make even the Grim Reaper laugh.

It's enough to make even the Grim Reaper laugh.

OH, CRUMBS. What Mel Giedroyc's new tea-time quiz Draw It! needs is a great, big slab of gooey chocolate cake.

OH, CRUMBS. What Mel Giedroyc's new tea-time quiz Draw It! needs is a great, big slab of gooey chocolate cake.

The Great British Bake Off presenter's new weekday Channel 4 show sees celebrities paired up with contestants to try and guess what word they are trying to draw.

Off presenter's new weekday Channel 4 show sees celebrities paired up with contestants to try and guess what word they are trying to draw.

| Mel Giedroyc | Mel Giedroyc It's frothy, light-weight stuff that isn't half as entertaining as drooling over a plateful of Mary Berry's scrumptious pastries.

It's frothy, light-weight stuff that isn't half as entertaining as drooling over a plateful of Mary Berry's scrumptious pastries.

Still, you had to smile when Strictly dancer Anton Du Beke suddenly announced it didn't really matter what colours the drawing came in... he's colourblind.

Still, you had to smile when Strictly dancer Anton Du Beke suddenly announced it didn't really matter what colours the drawing came in... he's colourblind.

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| Mel Giedroyc | Mel Giedroyc
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Wales On Sunday (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:May 11, 2014
Words:759
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