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Political: Izzard at the 2010 Labour Party Conference with Ed Miliband

He talks with an air of defiance aimed towards the state of the world and it seems this side of him is growing in purpose. Izzard’s shows have always been far more than the surreal, Python-esque flights of fancy they superficially appear.

Indeed he has spoken in recent years of his desire to move into politics in the future, even going so far as to say he will be quitting comedy in six years time to focus on this alone. Does he really want to run for Mayor of London?

“Yeah,” he replies, catching us off guard. We thought it may have been a down-the-line aspiration, a goal with no fixed time frame despite media reports to the contrary. Not so.  

“I am going to do six more years of comedy and drama first. I’ve got the new Hannibal TV show [in which he plays a psychiatric inmate opposite Mads Mikkelsen’s titular flesh-hungry doctor, who was so memorably played by Anthony Hopkins on the big screen]. But yes, I will get down to it.

“If you look at what I have done with my life, I sold out Madison Square Garden and the Hollywood Bowl, I toured France in French, ran 43 marathons – I can do things in a different way to what people might believe.”

It is this driven work ethic that sees him take Majeure on a globe-trotting tour that stops off everywhere from Oslo to Kathmandu. “And I am positive about people, I like people,” he says. 

“I want London to be an inclusive place, more and more open and to encourage people to go for it,” he says when we ask what sort of mayor he’d be. “I will be someone who is a cheerleader of the people, pushing things forward.”

If Arnie can become governor of the world’s 12th largest economy, California, then why not Izzard for the Big Smoke?But fear not, Force Majeure doesn’t see Izzard all serious. There is still plenty of eccentricity from the man who once wrote a sitcom, 1997’s Cows, starring actors in cow suits.

“Above all it’s entertainment,” he says, as we’re wondering for a moment whether he’s gone all Mark Thomas on us. “It is funny and surreal and twisted – I cover human sacrifice, Greek gods, Lord Of The Rings, and the Death Star canteen with god and Darth Vader drinking together.” Phew. 

So it seems we’ve got a lot to thank PJ for next time we see him round Streatham? “He was there and I did play his gigs,” Izzard says. “But I wouldn’t say he ‘found me’. I found me!” 

 

Eddie Izzard – Force Majeure plays Wembley Arena
May 11 & 12  HA9 0PA  
Tube | Wembley Park

The O2, June 8 & 9  SE10 0DX   
Tube | North Greenwich. 
Tickets from £40.

 

Photos: Getty


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Interview - Eddie Izzard: The comedian on running for London Mayor, Darth Vader and his new show at Wembley this week
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