EDDIE @ THE G8 SUMMIT POVERTY MARCH
[Midge Ure] "I was rehearsing for the gig and listening to Eddie (Izzard) spontaneously playing on the piano when I had a brilliant idea. Why not ask Eddie to accompany me during Vienna?
"I was really impressed by Eddie's piano playing and I am sure that, if he ever gives up comedy, he would have a superb career as a pianist."
The former Ultravox singer treated them to a rendition of his best-known hit, Vienna - with comedian Eddie Izzard accompanying him on piano. The pair surprised everyone when they started rehearsing together. A backstage insider said: 'That was almost completely spontaneous. Midge and Eddie enjoyed a night out before the show and thought it would be a good idea.'
One of the hosts for the evening, Eddie Izzard, then reminded the revellers why they had descended upon the home of Scottish rugby in their thousands. "Scotland, you are now the centre of the world," he cried. "The G8 leader have come to town and the world is watching. We made slavery history, now we must make poverty history."
Umbrellas went up and the party went on as Midge Ure revisited Ultravox's classic 80s hit Vienna, joined on piano by Eddie Izzard.
In the park we were entertained by Texas, Billy Bragg, Daniel Bedingfield and Eddie Izzard. Maybe not the stellar bill that was being beamed from Hyde Park to homes all over the country, but in many ways deserving of more respect just for the very reason that they were turning up just to entertain, with no expectation of giving their careers a boost.
Eddie Izzard, actor and comedian
One of Britain's most flamboyant and politically-versed comics, Eddie Izzard says, 'Edinburgh is the centre of the universe for Make Poverty History. In my opinion, dropping the debt is the most important thing. Take Nigeria, for example, borrowed 5 billion, paid back 16 billion, now owes 32 billion - that's loan-sharking. 'Working together is a good economic principle. If we have a level playing field where everyone feels they have a chance, then there's justice, they can trade and get themselves out of their own problems, work hard and build their own lives. 'If people have no chance and no hope, it breeds terrorism. Instead of paying out for aid, you're paying for arms. We pay as much in one month for weaponry and arms than we do over 18 months in aid.'
I caught up with comedian Eddie Izzard backstage at the Edinburgh Make Poverty History demonstration. He said: "I'm appealing to politicians' egos. I'm saying to them: 'Leave a legacy'. We made slavery history - we can make poverty history. "If you look at it historically, people get tired of things. Twenty years ago it was about raising money. But this isn't about raising money. It's about locking governments in to their promises. "Look at the UN development goal – the government's promised that 35 years ago, but it still hasn't happened. But people are ready for this now. "Humans are a lot more savvy. They've got a lot more sussed. And they're putting the pressure on the politicians. It takes a lot to get through to them, but this is where it's going to happen this week. "Gleneagles is a rarefied place. Tony Blair's got a lot on his shoulders. He's just had a big scrap with Jacques Chirac over the common agricultural policy. And it's all happening behind closed doors. We're not going to know what happened for weeks after. "But in the name of humanity and civilisation, we have to make this work. That's why we're here on this earth. "I'm doing this because I was asked to. Anyone who's asked should do this, or they're not human. "I'm not religious, but I believe in a level playing field for humanity. If I could tell the politicians one thing, it would be: drop the debt. Nigeria borrowed £5bn, it's paid back £16bn, and it still owes £32bn. That's not debt, that's loan sharking. "
A SEA of protestors gathered at the Meadows Park in Edinburgh from 9.30am for the Make Poverty History rally. The first march was starting at noon with two others beginning at 1pm and 2pm. Comedian Eddie Izzard, religious leaders, actor Pete Postlethwaite and presenter Jonathan Dimbleby were addressing crowds from one of two stages before the march.
Comedian and actor Eddie Izzard, who introduced acts on stage, said: "This is the centre of the universe. "There are other things going on today apparently but this is where it is really happening.
Comedian Eddie Izzard also helped introduce speakers and bands on to the stage. Afterwards, he said: "I need to be here. People power is the strongest stuff and this march is very important - we are the tipping point. "Hopefully, Tony Blair has persuasive powers he can use."
At 9.20am, Midge Ure, Jack McConnell, first minister, and Eddie Izzard, the comedian, will greet the Americans when they arrive at Edinburgh airport.
I was queuing with Eddie Izzard and Elaine C Smith and we all had to be on stage or do interviews, so none of us got to do the proper march. We didn’t even make it to the end of Forrest Road. We ended up doing our own parade around the Meadows instead and had quite a few people following us around on that.
Izzard, who co-compered Saturday's Make Povery History rally in the Scottish capital, travelled to Scotland from his base in Los Angeles to become involved in the poverty awareness campaign. He said: "The G8 have met many times and not an awful lot has come out of it but I think minds will now be focused. I think we've got the best chance with Gordon Brown and Tony Blair totally signed up to this.
Comedian Eddie Izzard, who was appearing with the singer at a press conference in Edinburgh, said bands and celebrities involved in the movement should also be judged on what they did afterwards. He also condemned violent protesters, saying: “We have seen this before with the G8 and every G8 for the rest of history there will be this. “They believe that by doing this, they are going to create more change for the agenda they have. “We don’t believe that, we believe in people power, the kind of power that brought the Berlin Wall down. History will judge what people do this week."