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He gained fame for cross-dressing and is now known for cross-party political agendas but in between Eddie Izzard is known as one of the best-loved and most influential comedians of the last twenty years.
Eddie izzard’s own website splits his about page into three distinct areas, acting politics, stand-up, and we feel that you can add mental-marathon-runner to make up a forth.
Izzard was born in South Yemen in 1962 before moving to Belfast where his dad spent time working at the BP refinery there. According to Izzard his early youth was spent playing on the electric typewriters which he considered space-age at the time, climbing on bungalow roofs and pouring water into cement mixers so it would harden.
Izzard was six when Northern Ireland was swapped for Welsh village of Skewen near Swansea. After his mother died Izzard was educated at a boarding school in the area before moving shortly afterwards to Sussex.
Izzard’s passion for comedy was ignited during University when he wrote material with fellow student Rob Ballard. Izzard eventually went solo and spent many of the early eighties as a street performer in Europe and the U.S. and at the Edinburgh Fringe.
His first stand-up gig was at the Banana Cabaret in Balham (which still runs today) and his breakthrough into mainstream comedy came via Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie’s AIDS benefit show Hysteria 3.
Heavily influenced by Monty Python Izzard's comedy tangents often take a surreal turn, with his thoughts flipping from subject to subject as if by random and pretending to write notes such as ‘never do this bit again’ on his hand when a particular joke doesn’t come off as well as he expected.
The live shows list is as long as your arm, but include Ambassadors (1993) Unrepeatable, (1994) Definite Article (1996) Glorious (1997) Dress to Kill (1998) Circle (2002) Sexie (2003) and Stripped (2009). In the UK Izzard is represented by Mick Perrin management.
Izzard has a strong link with charity events and has never been one to shirk a challenge. When he was 14 he cycled from Sussex to Swansea, sleeping in fields and stopping at Little Chef’s along the way. His latest challenges have been even more ambitious, in 2009 he ran no-less than 43 marathons in 51 days for Sport Relief from London to Cardiff, to Edinburgh and back to London along the way.
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