Big Yin bigger than ever

24 Nov 2011

An outsized mural of comedy legend Billy Connelly has been unveiled, as part of Sanctuary Scotland's regeneration of Anderston.

Comedy legend Billy Connolly expressed his delight after a giant mural of him was unveiled near to where he was born.

Billy admitted he was "extremely grateful" and "humbled" by the artwork, now installed in Anderston, Glasgow.

Sanctuary Scotland Housing Association commissioned the mural from artist Andy Scott. The steel structure formally completes Phase 1 of Sanctuary Scotland's £50 million regeneration of Anderston.

Billy, who turns 69 on Thursday, said: "I consider myself a citizen of the world, but I was born and raised in Glasgow - it is where my first children were born - where I learnt to play the banjo - where I served my apprenticeship as a welder, and where I first performed in public. My heart beats to the rhythm of Glasgow - it is in my blood.

"I am happy and humbled that Sanctuary Scotland Housing Association commissioned a mural of me, to be erected in my home city, and thrilled that it was so skillfully created by artist and master craftsman Andy Scott.

"It is an unexpected honour for which I am extremely grateful."

The 500kg mural is visible from the Clydeside Expressway and Kingston Bridge, used by more than 100,000 vehicles each day.

The mural was formally unveiled  by Lord Provost Bob Winter at a ceremony marking the completion of Phase 1.

The fifth and final phase of Sanctuary Scotland's construction of around 430 new Anderston homes is due to be completed in 2015. The 1960s properties being replaced are - among other things - poorly insulated and badly laid out. With hundreds of the original 495 ageing flats still standing, the contrast with Phase 1's new properties is stark. The mural finishes Phase 1 and allows the housing association, a member of leading social enterprise Sanctuary Group, to concentrate on the 72 homes being built in Phase 2.

Source:  Sanctuary Scotland Housing Association