By DAVID EDWARDS 04/08/2006 | The Daily Mirror | (thanks Annette)

Transvestite comedian Eddie Izzard may not be the first person who comes to mind when you think of someone desperate to become a dad. But he is determined to have children in the next six years. Now all he has to do is find the right woman to have them with.

"I'm 44 now," says the Yemen-born actor, "and I would love to have a couple of kids by the time I'm 50. The trouble is finding The One. My ideal partner would be Jessica Rabbit but, failing that, a Marilyn Monroe-type figure would be great. She'd have to have really big boobs. But I find falling in love so hard because it so often goes wrong. Then you have to close off all those emotions you've been feeling."

Izzard has long been one of Britain's best-loved stand-ups and this week he continues his parallel movie career with a part in the new comedy, My Super Ex-Girlfriend.

In it, Uma Thurman plays a superhero called G-Girl who uses her special powers to get even with her ex boyfriend (Luke Wilson) when he dumps her. Izzard plays G-Girl's nemesis, the villainous Professor Bedlam, who's determined to bring her down after she dumped him following a teenage fling.

"To create Bedlam's character, I drew on things that happened to me in my teenage years," says Eddie. "I'd been through a relationship during which I'd been feeling intense love. Unfortunately, it didn't work out and we split up. Then I decided I wanted us to get back together, but the other person didn't want to continue. Just like Bedlam, I had to turn my love into hate to get over it.

"It's so hard falling in love with people. Sometimes you really don't want to and, if it goes wrong, you have to learn to control your feelings. It's really difficult to shut all those emotions back up, but actually hating the person you loved makes it easier."

Despite talking about relationships from way back, Izzard is notoriously secretive about his current private life. He has no problem performing stand-up in front of the thousands of people, but he's clearly dislikes talking about himself.

He was born in 1962 in Aden to dad Harold, who worked for BP, and mum Dorothy Ella, a midwife. Tragically, his mother died of bowel cancer when he was just six. Soon after, Izzard and his eight-year-old brother, Mark, were sent to boarding school. After his A-levels, he began performing stand-up at festivals around Britain while studying maths and financial accounting at Sheffield University.

After a long, hard slog, success came in the early '90s when he was nominated for a Perrier Award. Fame and fortune followed, but even today, 38 years on, the loss of his mother still looms large over his life.

"My mother disappearing from my life was too large an amount of emotion for me to deal with and, I suppose, it affected my relationships afterwards," he admits.

"When I was at school I was always trying to get girls to like me, but I used to be so affectionate that they weren't interested. It's funny but you learn that if you try to take care of someone, it's not attractive but a huge turn off.

"All the girls at school liked the boys who didn't pay them any attention. They'd be like, 'Wow, he's nice', and I'd think, 'What the f*** is that?'"

I learned the hard way that I needed to be more of a bastard. Being so nice is something I've changed since then. I'm a step down from treating people mean and keeping them keen, as they say, but I try to make sure I keep my emotions in check, that I don't cock it up and let those gates open.

"If I fall in love, I've had this habit of saying, 'God, you're great' and getting a bit over the top. So now I'm very wary of that."

You can't fail to miss the irony. Izzard is one of Britain's best-loved comedians and possibly the world's best-known transvestite. As he himself admits, he receives frequent marriage proposals in his fan mail but, it seems, he still hasn't met the right woman.

"I think learning to flirt helped me," smiles Eddie. "I learned that in my twenties, but it should be taught in school. The art of flirting it to talk endless amounts of bull until people laugh."

"It's also good to talk about sex. When you get on to that subject, you're actually very close to having sex - or a lot closer than if you're talking about stamp collecting."

Trying to uncover the names of Izzard's former girlfriends is no easy task. He's never named any of them, although it is known he dated singer Sarah Louise Townsend from 1999 until 2002.

"I need to have conversations," says Eddie. "There are some very attractive people out there you can't have a conversation with and that's just tricky, so I like people who have ambition and ideas and are creative, who see the world as a place to play and full of people to meet. I can't really relate to people who think small. I don't know what to say."

Being so busy, however, may work against Eddie finding true love again. Last year he gave voice to a sand fairy in the movie adaptation of Five Children And It, and he recently appeared alongside Christopher Walken and Kate Winslet in the musical drama Romance & Cigarettes.

Next year, he's signed up for Ocean's Thirteen, alongside Brad Pitt and George Clooney.

"Los Angeles is the playing field I want to be on at the moment," says Eddie. "What I really want to do is drama mixed with acerbic comedy, the sort of humour seen in things like One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest. It's only now that I've reached where I should have been at 28. I'm 15 years behind and there's a lot for me still to do.

"As far as settling down goes, that's the furthest thing from my mind. What does settling down mean, anyway? I've always thought it means stopping doing anything and getting a pipe?

"If my kids are 20 when I'm 70 it doesn't bother me since everyone's living to 115 these days anyway. But, for now, work is the thing. I just need to keep moving before everyone gets bored of me."

 close window