07th December 2023
Eddie Izzard Talk
Thank you to Eddie Izzard who came to speak to our students about her journey through education, into comedy and now politics.
Addressing the Main Hall full of students and staff, Eddie spoke in her rapid and wide-ranging style recognisable to anyone who has seen her stand up. Reflecting on her early years in education Eddie remembered studying the perhaps unlikely combination of Maths, Physics and Chemistry A levels before progressing to a degree in accountancy. After a year at University she realised it wasn’t for her and left to pursue performing, with a desire to ‘make connections rather than break connections.’ This desire combined with a sense of a borderless world led to Eddie performing in French and German as well as English, and to realise that humour is universal.
Active within the Labour party since 2008 Eddie has become increasingly involved in politics and shared her belief that the ‘21st Century is the coming of age of humanity, either we make it a fair chance for everyone in this century otherwise we won’t make it.’ Her connection to politics is also fed by her charity work where famously she has run 130 marathons to raise money for good causes.
Perhaps the most pertinent advice for the students in the audience was the following reflection on her career journey. ‘If you start of your careers with a burning idea of what you want to do that’s better than anything, it might take time. I dropped out of uni in 1981 and my career took off 91/92. You develop stamina. Over this time, I was trying to get somewhere as fast as possible and then I realised no one cares about as fast as possible, they care about as good as possible.’ This realisation led to Eddie focusing more on honing improvisation in their act and arriving at the fully formed comic persona that took them to global fame.
Following her talk Eddie took a range of questions from the audience on topics such as trans rights, Brexit, and the arts in education. She was also generous with her time for a flurry of further questions and selfies after the main event had finished.