Billy Connolly

Comedian Billy Connolly is to tackle the subject of death in a new two-part documentary series starting tonight on ITV1.

Billy Connolly's Big Send Off will see the comedian, 71, examine the world's "death industry" as well as discuss his own personal battles with prostate cancer and Parkinson's disease - all while promising a gloom-free TV show.

Connolly will travel through Texas, San Francisco and Los Angeles, visiting pet cemeteries, a funeral convention and even a drive-through funeral parlour.

He will also talk about plans for his death and his own funeral as well as talking about the funerals he's attended over the years – including that of his friend, The Who's drummer Keith Moon.

An ITV press release ahead of tonight's first episode says: "Death has always been a subject of interest to comedian and actor Billy Connolly and across this two-part series, he looks it squarely in the face.

"In his trademark curious, humorous and candid manner Billy examines the 'death industry', and how and where we lay our loved ones to rest, as he tackles a subject considered by many to be the last taboo.

"Along the way, Billy shares his own thoughts on death, what he hopes will happen at his own funeral and how he would like to be remembered."

Python Eric Idle will also appear to discuss his song (and funeral favourite) Always Look on the Bright Side of Life, which you can watch a clip from below. Idle will also duet the song with Connolly.

Billy Connolly's Big Send Off airs Wednesday 7 May at 9pm on ITV1. Part two of the series will air on Wednesday 14 May.