Billy Connolly: Portrait Of A Lifetime.

Billy Connolly: Portrait Of A Lifetime

BBC One Scotland documentary about artwork depicting Billy Connolly. 1 episode in 2017. Features Billy Connolly, John Byrne, Jack Vettriano and Rachel Maclean.

Billy Connolly: Portrait Of A Lifetime.

Billy Connolly: Portrait Of A Lifetime

A programme looking at the artwork depicting Billy Connolly placed on walls in Glasgow

BBC One Scotland
Billy Connolly, John Byrne, Jack Vettriano and Rachel Maclean

As his old friend John Byrne says, Billy Connolly is "a phenomenon. He is... larger than life."

This documentary reveals the comedian becoming literally that... in 50 ft plus murals dotted around Glasgow's city centre. To mark Billy Connolly turning 75 this year, BBC Scotland commissioned three original artworks from top Scottish artists Byrne, Jack Vettriano and Rachel Maclean.

Working in conjunction with Glasgow City Council's City Centre Mural trail and Art Pistol Projects, these have now been translated into stunning and dramatic wallends in Dixon Street, Osbourne Street and the Gallowgate. Pictures

And in the wake of these going up, this programme reveals the inside story of the project with Billy meeting and posing for the artists to talk about his life, career, art and philosophy.

The programme sees Billy chatting about their early days together with John Byrne... discussing a gig in Methil with Jack Vettriano... And getting made up in blue and pink tinged make-up, and donning a wonderfully outlandish outfit adorned with motifs from his career, for his photographic session for Rachel Maclean's digital print.

Then Billy reviews their finished artworks. Along the way there are also some classic clips of Billy at his best on stage. With the murals already on display in the city centre, the original portraits will - the day after the programme - go on display in Glasgow's People's Palace too.

BBC Arts Digital is asking people to submit their own portraits of Billy Connolly. The best of the submissions will go on display in the People's Palace in tandem with the original artworks. The portraits can be submitted via social media using the hashtag #BigYinPortrait by Facebook, Twitter or Instagram or by emailing More details

'Big Yin' by Rachel Maclean

Big Yin. Billy Connolly. Copyright: Rachel Maclean.

'Billy Connolly' by John Byrne

Billy Connolly: Portrait Of A Lifetime. Billy Connolly. Copyright: John Byrne.

'Dr Connolly, I Presume?' by Jack Vettriano

Dr Connolly, I Presume?. Billy Connolly. Copyright: Jack Vettriano.

Production Details

Production company
Laugh track

Broadcast details

First broadcast
Wednesday 14th June 2017 on BBC One Scotland at 9pm
Episode length
1 hour
Last repeat
Sunday 9th August 2020 at 2:45am on BBC4