Neddie Lizzard

I only have terrestrial television as people still insist on calling it. I mean, I’ve got freeview and all that but none of that Sky nonsense, or extra-terrestrial television as I call it. That’s right. I’ve decided if you’re all fancy and can rewind and fast forward the telly like you have evil magic powers then you are definitely watching alien telly from martian land. I’m quite happy to not be delving into the HD occult with my normal however-many-channels-you-get-on-freeview amount of channels, as even with that large amount of choice, I barely watch anything as it just tends to make me angry. Last night’s fleeting glimpses of eye and ear violation featured orange faced Lego haired Cowell being smug about his own life, followed by the film Alexander where no one could quite decide on what accent the ancient Greeks had, ranging from Irish to stereotypical kebab shop owner. Just when I was about to hand over my licence fee before declaring television null and void, I turned over to BBC3 to watch Eddie Izzard: Marathon Man which was brilliant.

I have Eddie Izzard to blame for a lot of things. Its probably all his fault that I liked comedy or even considered doing comedy ever. His Definite Article and Glorious shows were essentially gospel to the teenage me, and while I had been brought up on a strict diet of Friday Night Live, Billy Connelly and several other greats, Eddie was the first comic I felt I had discovered, even though clearly many others had before me. Otherwise he wouldn’t have been allowed to do such big shows straight away, although never let it be said that I don’t have pull in this industry. I don’t have pull in this industry. Feel free to say that all you like. From the ages of 15 to about 19 I saw Eddie do stand-up twice and caught him doing an impro show with Stephen Frost, Josie Lawrence and someone else who I will never remember. The latter was on his birthday and my friend Basak and I saw him backstage after, shouted a nervous hello and ran away quickly. He’s still one of the few people I find it hard to approach or speak to because of his influence, having to stand a room away from him at a party in Edinburgh last year due to my inability to not be an idiot around him. Sadly I wasn’t a huge fan of Circle or Sexie, and haven’t yet managed to see Stripped. I’ve caught various examples of his acting exploits and wasn’t 100% impressed. My appreciation of the Izzard man had waned somewhat.

Then I watched the show last night. I was aware he’d done the ridiculous feat of running 46 marathons in 50 days but it hadn’t really sunk in how mental that challenge was. No preparation, no previous athletic skill, just sheer determination. Without wanting to go all a bit soppy, I sat watching and feeling properly impressed. I once ran 5km and spent the next two days without a quip, smart remark or in fact anything other than constant whinging that my legs would fall off, yet Eddie continued to entertain in front of the camera despite having feet covered in blisters and on his 9th marathon in a row. The man continues to be an inspiration and I found myself donating cash to Sports Relief without thinking then buying all his old DVDs on Amazon. I’m a sucker for these sorts of things, but it was a completely amazing thing to do and I can honestly say its one of those truly brilliant achievement of mind over ability. Without meaning to sound like a huge wanker, it completely proved that you can whatever you want to, if you put your mind to it. Except maybe fly, or turn into a tiger, or shoot lasers from your eyes. With such wisdom I have also decided I will walk to my gig today and back. I’m not going to run it, I’m not mental. Just walk. I was going to walk it before I watched the show, but now I will still walk it, only pretending its because of Eddie Izzard. I hope he appreciates this false placing of responsibility.

I’m acting today. Reprising my role from the last Itch: A Scratch Event, we are doing a second scene from the promenade piece we did in February. I once again get to be obnoxious, and then have a beer and watch everyone else. I may continue to be obnoxious, but I won’t have any script for that so it’ll have to be improvised. If you’re there and I insist on making condescending remarks to you its just because I’m so method I have to stay like that for three days. Promise. Tee hee hee.

Additional note – I’m on the latest radio show from Tom Craine which you can listen to on the iplayer. It features our new animal based rating system plus further games of This Is Your Wife. Enjoy!

TOM CRAINE’S RADIO SHOW

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