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EDITIONS
 Tuesday, 24 December, 2002, 17:10 GMT
Izzard drags up for a busy year
Eddie Izzard
Izzard will star on Broadway in 2003

Off-the-wall comic Eddie Izzard is probably best-known for his unusual brand of humour and flair for cross-dressing - but his recent successes have been curiously conventional.

Izzard has cracked the US with his stand-up shows, while his dramatic career is set take him onto the Broadway stage in the spring.

There was not a stiletto or extravagant swipe of lipstick visible at this meeting - Izzard sported a dapper red velvet suit, with a neat goatee beard dispelling any passing notion of femininity.

Izzard launched into a mini-comic routine based on my "uber-firm" handshake, but settled down to ponder the question of his success in the US in typically roundabout fashion.

"I always wanted to play on a world platform," he explains.

"British, European people have a lot to offer and I'd like to see others go there - maybe even a Mexican wave of them."

Eddie Izzard
Izzard won an Emmy for his stand-up show
"It's not rocket science. I just had a plan to go there, do it and do it until they gave in," adds Izzard, who scooped an Emmy award for his Dress To Kill tour.

"I'm kind of open and honest. There's this thing that America wouldn't be into guys who wear make-up. But I tell them how it is for me and try to do as good comedy as I can," explains Izzard, now on a verbal roll.

Observant

"Middle America has no sense of irony, but middle Britain hasn't either. I asked a New York audience whether they knew where Ireland was, and they fell about laughing. They know how everything can be American-centric," he says.

The acutely observant Izzard now notices that the table we sit at is squeaking, and comically advises that we should leave it to its own devices.

The 40-year-old performer admits that being a dramatic actor as well makes his career seem "schizophrenic" - but a successful one, which will see him take his West End role in A Day In The Life Of Joe Egg to Broadway.

"Drama is about the truth, comedy is about being funny," says Izzard.

"They are different disciplines, but you can do both. If I'm on the stage and talking a lot of rubbish, then it's comedy," he adds.

It is set to be another busy year in 2003 for Izzard, with a Broadway run and a six-month world stand-up tour on the cards - which will see the Europhile comic perform in a variety of languages.

Izzard then had to rush away to greet a myriad fans in the Virgin Megastore on London's bustling Oxford Street. Just another ordinary day in the life of a less-than-ordinary showbusiness performer.

See also:

06 Nov 02 | Entertainment
02 Jul 02 | Entertainment
19 Jun 01 | Entertainment
03 Jun 01 | Entertainment
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