Eddie Izzard embarks on 2013 UK tour

Eddie Izzard

Five things you might not know about the comedian

If you happened to be dotting around Edinburgh during August in the early 80s, you may have witnessed Eddie Izzard doing some street performing. In 1991, he was nominated for the Perrier (Frank Skinner won) while his links with the festival now are producing new acts, such as last year’s shows from Trevor Noah and Michael Mittermeier.

In 2000, he was accused by Watchdog of ripping off fans by, shock horror, performing some gags live which had previously appeared on DVD. We’re still awaiting the investigation into the Rolling Stones playing songs from the 1960s on their current tour.

Last year, Izzard set himself a target of running 27 marathons in South Africa in tribute not to all those famous pop people who have died at that age (Hendrix, Joplin, Cobain, Winehouse et al) but to Nelson Mandela who was imprisoned for 27 years. On the advice of doctors he was told to stop after just four or risk actual death. Don’t think he’s a shirker though, as he successfully completed 43 of the buggers for Sport Relief in 2009.

In the 2010 documentary film, Believe, he confessed that the death of his mother when he was six was the spur which has made him so driven to be successful: ‘everything I do in life is trying to get her back’, he stated poignantly.

Showing just how lummy well diverse his talents are, he played piano on ‘Vienna’ when Midge Ure performed the tune at Live8’s Murrayfield leg in 2005.

SECC, Glasgow, Wed 5 Jun.

Eddie Izzard: Force Majeure

Often hailed as one of this generation's best stand-ups, the master of absurdity takes his whimsical ramblings on tour in his first new show in four years. Expect fast-paced wordplay, a spot of multilingualism and surreality aplenty.