He was recently hailed as the most influential comedian of all time.
However, it appears Billy Connolly, 69, is not always at one with his audiences.
It has emerged that the comedian…known as Big Yin…has ended his shows prematurely twice in just eight days as a result of heckling during his current tour.
Connolly left the stage prematurely last Saturday…and he had done the same thing a week earlier.
His surprise walk-outs have led to fans suggesting Connolly…who is married to Pamela Stephenson, 62… may be growing fed up with performing.
One man in the audience said the Scottish stand-up was getting increasingly frustrated at the amount of people leaving and re-entering the auditorium during the two-hour show.
He said: ‘At first Billy tried to make a joke of it, encouraging the audience to sing when a group of lads returned from the bar during the show. But this seemed to just encourage more people to get up.
‘In the end he said: ‘I’ll tell you one more story’ when someone shouted out. Billy then said: ‘Well actually, no, that’s it, I’ll finish now’. I think by that point he had just had enough. He took a bow and that was it.
Mr Tye went on: ‘He’s an old guy, he’s not young anymore. He was losing his thread as he was telling his stories and getting more and more frustrated. He didn’t show his anger but you could see he was getting frustrated.’
The star then cut short his set.
Audience member Alan Wright, 50, – who works for the Wildlife Trust – said: ‘He was telling a joke about strokes – explaining that members of his family had suffered from them – when someone in the audience shouted “you’re shit”. He then finished the story and walked off.
‘You would have expected him to come back on and it was a really strange situation because everyone was talking about it afterwards and there was disappointment.
‘He’s a great hero of comedy of mine but I don’t think it’s unfair to say he’s getting fed up with comedy, because that’s the impression he gave.’
A woman from the audience added: ‘It was terrible. I couldn’t believe it because I’ve got a 14-month-old child and I’m pregnant, so I don’t get out very much and wanted to see him.
‘It was such an anti-climax and I felt he should have been used to hecklers. I’ve seen other comedians who shake off hecklers.’
Fans who had attended the shows also took to the Internet to criticise Connolly.
One said: ‘For me he’s well past his best before date. Hope all those who missed out on a full show from Billy Connolly were re-imbursed part of the cost of their tickets in compensation for their loss, or did Billy and his associates do a runner with all of the money as well?’
Another said: ‘Such a shame he wasn’t able to come up with the goods. I thought it was a pretty lazy performance with an awful lot of “filler”.
‘I got the impression he either wasn’t that bothered or hadn’t sorted out much material.’
Yet another, listed as steak pie, said: ‘Heard a lot of that material before, and he seemed to be checking his watch all the way through as though he needed to be somewhere else, then he left in an abrupt manner after a heckle!’
Mr Connolly’s tour is due to end next month [march] and he has spoken previously of his hatred of hecklers.
He said recently: ‘I loathe hecklers. I haven’t got a good syllable to say about hecklers. When you come out of the club circuit and into the concert halls they should be gone.
‘There’s an element of manners that should tell you that the ticket is dear and it’s a different venue. People have had a bath to come here so sit down, shut up and listen.’
A spokesman for Mr Connolly declined to comment.
by Robbo Green