Who is Eddie Izzard, what is she famous for, where did she study in Yorkshire and how does she identify? – The Yorkshire Post

Who is Eddie Izzard, what is she famous for, where did she study in Yorkshire and how does she identify? – The Yorkshire Post

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The stand-up comedian and actor has been very vocal about her political views and is currently campaigning to be the next MP of Sheffield. She launched her campaign on October 11, 2022, hoping to replace Sheffield’s current MP Paul Blomfield, who is standing down as MP at the next election.
Eddie has also been a massive charity supporter, participating in 43 marathons in 51 days for Sport Relief in 2009, even though she had never taken part in long-distance running. In 2016 she ran 27 marathons in 27 days in South Africa to pay tribute to Nelson Mandela and raised £1.35 million.
She is multilingual, having performed stand-up in Arabic, French, German, Russian and Spanish and is an active supporter of Europeanism and the European Union. She has always loved comedy since she was a child and had her first taste of performing stand-up when she was just 12 years old.
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Eddie was born in Aden, which was then called Aden Colony and now known as Yemen, in the 1960s to English parents Dorothy and Harold. Her mother was a midwife and nurse and her father was an accountant who was working in Aden for BP when she was born.
She has an older brother called Mark who is a couple of years older than her. When she was just one year old, the family moved to Bangor, Northern Ireland, where they stayed until Eddie was five years old. From there they moved to Skewen in South Wales, where she and her brother were sent to boarding school.
Not long before they were sent to boarding school, Eddie’s mother died from cancer, when she was just six years old. Eddie attended the independent St John’s School in Newton, St Bede’s Prep School in Eastbourne and Eastbourne College.
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Eddie and her brother built a model railway to keep busy while their mother was ill and this was later donated to Bexhill Museum in 2016.
She revealed in an interview that she always wanted to be an actor since she was seven years old and studied drama at the University of Sheffield.
Eddie began to dabble in comedy whilst at university with her friend Rob Ballard; the two performed shows on the streets, regularly in Covent Garden, London. When Rob and Eddie went their separate ways, she spent most of the early 1980s working as a street performer in Europe and the US.
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It was during this period of her comedic journey where she found her voice by talking to the audience while doing solo escape acts. She then moved her act to stand-up comedy venues across Britain, performing her first routine at the Banana Cabaret in the Balham area of London.
Eddie’s breakthrough came in 1991 when she performed her ‘raised by wolves’ routine on the televised Hysteria 3 AIDS benefit. Since then she has become increasingly popular and attracted a lot of attention and following.
She won two Primetime Emmy Awards, Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program and Outstanding Writing for a Variety or Music Program awards in 2000 for her comedy special Dress to Kill.
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Eddie made her West End drama debut in 1994 as the lead role in the world premier of The Cryptogram with Lindsay Duncan at London’s Comedy Theatre. The success of this show resulted in a second starring role in David Beaird’s black comedy 900 Oneonta and in 1995 she portrayed the leading role in Christopher Marlowe’s Edward II.
Since then her acting career has taken off, she has appeared in numerous other films including 1996 movie The Secret Agent, she has portrayed Charlie Chaplin in The Cat’s Meow, actor Gustav von Wangenheim in Shadow of the Vampire, general Erich Fellgeibel in Valkyrie and wartime pioneer of radar Robert Watson-Watt in the BBC drama Castles in the Sky.
She has also appeared in Across the Universe as Mr Kite, Revengers Tragedy as Lussurioso, Ocean’s Twelve and Ocean’s Thirteen as criminal expert Roman Nagel, alongside Brad Pitt and George Clooney.
Other acting credits include the character ‘It’ in Five Children and It, Nigel in The Wild and the mouse warrior Reepicheep in The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian. Eddie acted alongside Jason Priestley, Vanessa Redgrave, Joely Richardson and Dougray Scott in the 2009 BBC sci-fi miniseries The Day of the Triffids.
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She played Dr Hatteras, a psychology professor, in the Showtime series United States of Tara alongside Toni Collette and as Harry Sutton in the 2021 Netflix mystery drama miniseries Stay Close.
Eddie is an avid supporter of European integration and has campaigned in support of the European Union. She appeared on the BBC political debate show Question Time in 2005, describing herself as a ‘British-European’.
As part of her campaigning, Eddie was one of the first people to spend a euro in London and this approach has inspired her work, regularly performing her stand-up shows in French and sometimes in German.
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Eddie campaigned in favour of replacing the first-past-the-post voting system with the alternative vote as a method for electing MPs in a 2011 referendum and she is a big supporter of the Labour Campaign for Electoral Reform.
She is also in favour of British republicanism, believing that the UK should have a democratically elected head of state instead of a monarchy. She has mentioned that she is a social democrat rather than a socialist.
She campaigned hard to encourage Scottish people not to vote for independence, claiming that the UK would feel a ‘deep sense of loss’ if Scotland were to divert away from being part of the UK.
Eddie was named as one of the biggest private donors to the Labour Party in 1998 and in 2008, she donated almost £10,000. She has appeared in various party political broadcasts for the Labour Party in the lead up to the 2005 general election and 2009 European election.
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She expressed strong support for Labour in the 2017 general election and Jeremy Corbyn as its leader.
She identifies as genderfluid and calls herself ‘somewhat boy-ish and somewhat girl-ish’. Eddie labels herself as transgender as an umbrella term.
In 2019, Eddie explained that her pronouns are either ‘he’ or ‘she’ depending on if she was in ‘boy mode’ or ‘girl mode’, however, in 2020, she requested for her pronouns to be she/her as she wants to be ‘based in girl mode from now on’.
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She admits that she has always known she was transgender since she was four years old.
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