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PAM BEGS: DON'T BE A SILLY WILLY BILLY; Big Yin's wife wants pierce of mind.

Byline: AGNES STEVENSON

WORRIED Pamela Stephenson fears husband Billy Connolly will have his privates pierced to celebrate his birthday.

The comedian, who will be 60 next year, already has nipple rings - each one bought to mark a special occasion.

And Stephenson, 51, dreads him carrying on the tradition. She said: "I certainly hope it's not the willy, the Prince Albert. It just doesn't bear thinking about."

Stephenson's comments came as she revealed a darker side to the man she loves. The former comedienne has just written her husband's biography where she told how, in their early days together, she feared he would kill himself.

Stephenson says that when she met the comic in 1979, he was caught in a downward spiral of drugs and drink in a bid to deal with the pain of his upbringing at the hands of cruel aunts and his sexually abusive dad.

On their first night together in 1979,Connolly drank 30 brandies.

Stephenson said: "I was afraid for him. Billy was a real hero to many people and yet he was very suicidal.

"He was desperately trying to feel no pain at all. I thought 'If I leave this man, he's going to die'."

The former Not The Nine O'Clock News actress, now a psychologist, says that Connolly's habit of surrounding himself with Hollywood stars, such as Steve Martin and members of the Royal Family is another way of dealing with that pain.

She claims he needs the admiration, love and friendship of his heroes.

She said: "That reinforces that he's okay."

Connolly quit drinking in 1985 but Stephenson says her husband has still not fully recovered from his childhood experiences.

She said: "I don't know if he'll ever get rid of that deep self-questioning."

Connolly and Stephenson - who live in Hollywood and have a second home Candacraig, Strathdon, Aberdeenshire - married in 1989 and now have three daughters, Scarlett, Daisy and Amy.

CAPTION(S):

LIFE SAVER: Pam feared that Billy would kill himself
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Oct 8, 2001
Words:329
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