Eddie Izzard: 'If I'm made Mayor of London I won't give up comedy'

The comedian said his stand-up career will go into 'hibernation'

Click to follow
The Independent Culture

Eddie Izzard has assured fans his comedy career will not end if he is elected Mayor of London in 2020.

The comedian said his stand-up career would go into “deep hibernation” for the period of time he was in office, but he would return to the comedy circuit.

Speaking to The Independent, he said: “My comedic career will end for that period. It will go into hibernation, deep hibernation”.

Izzard told the Labour Party Conference in September that he wanted to stand as a candidate in the London Mayoral elections in 2020.

His decision has caused speculation that the comedian would be willing to challenge a Labour incumbent if they were elected Mayor in 2016.

But the 51-year-old has said he would not want to contest a current Labour Mayor in 2020, and would stand for MP instead.

He said: “I’d like to be Mayor of London or MP. But if there’s a sitting London Mayor who wants to go for a second term, [standing for Mayor] wouldn’t seem like it would be the best thing to do.

“I’d just like to go in and see what I can do, and I’ll bring all the energy that I have into doing politics.”

Izzard added he was confident he would be taken seriously as a politician despite his stand-up background.

“Boris Johnsons seems to have changed politics, as he goes around making jokes all the time- so it doesn’t seem to matter anymore. There should be some humour in politics because otherwise it can get very dry,” he said

“If Arnold Schwarzenegger can go from being an action hero into politics, then I think it’s an easier fit going from comedy, because at least we’re talking about ideas. We’re not just doing a script, these are our own words.

“I’m not really worried about [being taken seriously]. I’ve already campaigned in a number of elections. People know that when I’m talking about politics, I’m talking about politics,” he said.

Asked if he thought his candidacy would promote an election system favouring high-profile names over policies, Izzard said politics had “always been about personality”.

“If you go back to Caesar and Mark Anthony, it was already there. Politics has always been about personality since the Greeks. I know people have said it should all be about policies, but it just never will be.

Eddie Izzard’s ‘Force Majeure’ is out now on DVD