Believe Me by Eddie Izzard
Eddie Izzard, the wildly funny, sexy stand-up, says here he’s shy and “lazy but driven”, and his shows – trans rather than drag – feature high heels, lipstick and nail varnish not as props but as “expressions of his sexuality”. A brilliant motormouth, he’s always talking but never saying anything, his producer, Sarah Townsend, told him. Minutes later he was crying: everything he’d ever done was an effort to retrieve his mum. Accounts of surviving boarding school – where he and his brother were sent, aged six and eight, after Mum’s death – of street performances; of going out in London for the first time in a dress, heels and make-up; of running 27 marathons in 27 days, to honour Nelson Mandela; and of doing his shows in French, German and Spanish, in honour of our Europeanness, are underpinned by a very English can-do attitude. An “action transgender”, 100 per cent male and 50 per cent female, he says that “despair is the fuel of terrorism”. And he’s “on a mission to unite the world”. Brava!