5 things you might not know about Eddie Izzard
- Brian Donaldson
- 4 November 2009
1 Born in Yemen, Edward John Izzard spent three pre-school years in mid-60s Northern Ireland. Oblivious to all the politics, he was brought up in a Protestant stronghold in Bangor and loved going out to chuck mud at passing cars.
2 A committed Europhile, he has famously performed his stand-up in French. Who could ever forget his legendary ‘le singe est dans l’arbre’ skit from the Montreal Comedy Festival in 1992. Curiously, he wasn’t especially great at the language at school but had the confidence to crack on in his broken French when he first visited the country. His motif: communication first, grammar second.
3 He attended the University of Sheffield in the early 80s but his term of study ended after one year of Accounting and Financial Management. On returning 25 years later to receive an honorary degree, he joked out loud that he had been thrown out of the place.
4 His comedy life began by doing street performance in Covent Garden and a decade later he was on the legendary 1991 Perrier shortlist alongside Jack Dee and Lily Savage when Frank Skinner won the award.
5 Despite his status as comedy icon (he was placed third in that Channel 4 poll of the 100 best stand-ups in the world ever), acting is actually his first love and has done pretty well for himself on screens both large and small and in theatre. Not all career moves go totally smoothly, though. He turned down a role as an unscrupulous arms dealer in 24 to appear with Minnie Driver as grifter members of a traveller community in The Riches. That lasted all of two series.
SECC, Glasgow, Tue 10 & Wed 11 Nov.