Eddie izzard dating minnie driver who is genevieve nnaji dating 2016

He suddenly speaks in Arabic to me, saying, 'My name is Eddie and I was born in the Yemen.’ Izzard has just turned 51 – how does he feel about ageing?He’s in a far better place in every way now, probably than at any time before in his life.

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'Like they say, “Youth is wasted on the young” and so can I do my 20s again please, and not have Thatcher in power? 'It was just hellish for me, that decade – I did get my stuff done, and I came out as a transvestite and had all my midlife crises early.

At 20, nothing had happened; at 30, nothing had happened, but was starting to happen; I was OK at 40, and I’m so OK about being 50 I decided to say I was 50 a year before I was.’ In July 2009 he completed seven weeks of back-to-back marathons – 43 in 51 days – around the UK to raise money for Sport Relief.

It has taken him 15 years to get to the point where he can perform at l’Olympia, where Edith Piaf once sang – 'un rêve’ which he has had since '******* longtemps’ – in front of an audience of 1,800 people.

It’s a (literally) vintage Izzard show, covering the ascent of man, why he doesn’t believe in God, the different mentality of the PC and the Apple Mac, the impossibility of Noah’s Ark (if it were real, for one thing, all the animals would be dead except for the lions and the tigers), a giraffe signalling lion-danger through charades and a cough, and a jazz-crowing cockerel.

The reality is that he did politics and he did it well, and he learnt Afrikaans and I would like to feel I’m following in his footsteps by learning French and German and Russian and Arabic...’ – which is quite a large claim to make for oneself. Then came the Comedy Store and, soon after, his own sell-out show in the West End. When he got into BP, he thought, “This is bullshit: I’m going to change everything [the system of filing, for instance].” When he was told he couldn’t, he said, “Well, I’ve already done it.”’ During the screenwriters’ strike in 2007-08 in America, after the second season of the TV series The Riches (in which Izzard starred as an identity-stealing Irish traveller con-artist) had aired, Izzard and his father travelled to Aden together, where Harold used to work for BP and where Eddie was born.

After dropping out of Sheffield University, where he read accountancy (his father, Harold, to whom he is close, was an accountant with BP), Izzard took a show to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, then moved to Streatham Common in south London with some fellow performers, did street theatre in Covent Garden, and waited to be discovered. Izzard had arrived, choosing that moment to come out as a transvestite. There he was given some old photos of his mother, which he shows me on his phone: she has a sweet, sideways smile, is wearing a 1950s skirt that fans out, and is cradling her son on her lap. It’s charming and telling, I think, that Izzard keeps these black-and-white images in his pocket, close to his heart.

Last May he attempted a bonkers 27 marathons in 27 days in South Africa to honour Nelson Mandela, who was imprisoned for 27 years.

Due to health complications, Izzard had to pull out after only four. As we sit across from one another, in an eyrie above a photographic studio in central London, he occasionally rubs his eyes with fatigue.

It has been ages since he was in girl-mode, for reasons we discuss later.

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