No ho ho! Or why Eddie Izzard”s not joking this Christmas…

[from tiskin.com]

No ho ho! Or why Eddie Izzard”s not joking this Christmas…

On a cold Christmas night in Manchester, a drunk with a past finds a strange man lying next to the canal. His shirt says ‘I am called Antony’, but he doesn’t know who he is. So that’s where Eddie Izzard has been hiding.

The comedian, who has been quiet on the showbusiness front for the past couple of years (he has been running marathons for charity instead), will be back in force in the coming weeks.

He plays Long John Silver in the forthcoming Sky1 drama Treasure Island, but before that he is the mysterious Antony in BBC1 drama The Lost Christmas.

The 90-minute film is a co-production with CBBC and is made with older children in mind, but it contains very adult themes of loss.

There is a ten-year-old tearaway nicknamed Goose who lost both his parents the Christmas before, a couple who lost their daughter, a man who has lost his family and a doctor who has lost his wife.

The mysterious Antony unites them, but it is hard to work out who or what he is.

He can appear and vanish at will, has an array of amazing facts which spill out randomly as he talks and he has a magical ability to help people find what they were looking for.

‘It’s massive to be on television over Christmas,’ says Eddie, 49.

‘It is a bleak subject, but I think people are used to that at Christmas — look at Oliver Twist and A Christmas Carol. Like them, this is a film about sacrifice and second chances.’

Ironically both Eddie and Larry Mills, who plays Goose, had a bigger understanding than many about loss, as both lost their mothers at a young age.

‘This is a family film but a lot of kids won’t get the themes of loss because they won’t have experienced it.

Curiously, Larry and his family, and my family, both had family losses,’ says Eddie.

‘That was a strange thing. I didn’t know how to broach it but it was definitely in there for both of us. This is a dramatic film, very much rooted in reality.’

This particular role is unusual for Eddie in that there is barely any comedy.

‘I love that there is no comedy,’ admits the star.

‘I played the character straight and that was fun in itself. He has no fear because he has no memory and that is interesting. It gives you an ethereal quality.’

The end has a twist which only one person in an audience of more than 500 people at the first screening of the drama was expecting.
But, thankfully, it restores a little bit of the magic of Christmas.

‘You have to have that,’ says Eddie. ‘You can’t be completely bleak at Christmas.’

The Lost Christmas is on BBC1 on Sunday at 5.30pm, and CBBC on Christmas Eve at 5.30pm.


Written by Momo in: Interview,TV |

Why Eddie Izzard loves Christmas: interview

[from telegraph.co.uk]

Eddie Izzard talks to Adam Sweeting about his new BBC drama Lost Christmas, and remaking Treasure Island Goodfellas-style.

The globe-trotting Eddie Izzard isn’t sure exactly where he’ll be for Christmas. It won’t be Australia, where he has just finished performing his Stripped tour. Maybe it will be somewhere in Europe, since despite all the current turmoil, Izzard’s belief in a Euro-Utopia burns undimmed. But wherever it is, he’s adamant that he won’t be doing any end-of-year comedy shows.

“I always have time off at Christmas,” he declares. “Some performers will work at Christmas or New Year, because people pay good money, especially on New Year’s Eve. But they’re awful gigs. Terrible! I refuse to do them.”

To compensate, Izzard is starring in BBC One’s Lost Christmas, a mystical fable of redemption set in a snowy Manchester on Christmas Eve. Izzard plays the enigmatic Anthony, who materialises in a weird flash of light and sets about reuniting the various characters with things that have gone missing in their lives – dogs, wives, bracelets, parents or children. It sounds a little bit Dickensian?

“It might look like that because it’s a fairytale,” Izzard muses. “But I think it also has a feel of It’s A Wonderful Life, which is a classic beyond classics. It’s a little sentimental but it has a nice edge to it, and I’m going to make my family sit down together and watch it.”

He co-stars alongside Jason Flemyng, Geoffrey Palmer and Steven Mackintosh, each of whom has his own personal demons to grapple with, but Izzard’s character is kept deliberately mysterious. It’s gradually revealed that despite his sinister, shaven-headed appearance, he brings amazing healing powers.

“He doesn’t know anything except loads of really useless facts, and everyone thinks he’s bonkers,” says Izzard. “Then he becomes bonkers-but-useful, because if you grab his hand he experiences visions which can help you find something you’ve lost. Eventually there are cathartic resolutions of these losses and the conflicts between the characters. I think it’s a beautiful little gem of an urban fairytale, and it’s some of the best work I’ve done.”
Not that he isn’t also glowing with pride about his work in Sky 1’s remake of Treasure Island, due in January, in which he plays a bald and brooding Long John Silver, with a rather splendid crimson parrot perched on his shoulder. It’s an all-star knees-up, with a roll-call including Rupert Penry-Jones, Elijah Wood, Donald Sutherland and Philip Glenister.

“It’s a big, fun, rollicking epic,” raves Izzard. “We shot it in Dublin and Puerto Rico just before I did Lost Christmas, and it’s like the Goodfellas version. It’s much more kick-ass than the way it’s usually been done.”

But before that, there’s Christmas.

“I love Christmas,” he proclaims. “My mother would always get me and my brother to write down the things we wanted and we’d put them in the fire and they’d go up the chimney to Santa Claus. After my mum died my dad would write messages from Santa on Christmas Day, so it was always a great time.”
Naturally, Izzard has his own list of favourite Yuletide TV events, those ones that only keep improving with age. “I like to watch Christmas movies, especially Scrooge with Alastair Sim. The Great Escape is one that bizarrely always comes up, and I love Trading Places – it’s not really a Christmas story but it works at Christmas time.”

Is he a Downton Abbey man, or a Strictly Come Dancing fanatic?

“I know Strictly exists,” he mutters. “Is it like Pro-Am golf but with dancing? I haven’t actually partaken of it. I’ve heard Downton Abbey is a big smash but I’ve yet to get it on my iPod. Touring around the world means you miss some of the big things on telly.”

Though he claims there aren’t any particular presents which he covets, he will insist on having an authentic, full-scale Christmas meal.
“When I was doing my arena tour a couple of years ago, I liked having a Christmas meal every day. I think turkey’s great and brussels sprouts are great and roast potatoes, though you have to be careful with the roast potatoes. ”

Special measures were taken to nullify the threat of soggy sprouts. “We took our own catering people with us,” he says smugly. “If you get to the point of playing 15,000 seaters, you can at least ask for some decent brussels sprouts.”

And in January, Izzard can burn off those excess pounds by running a few marathons (he famously ran 43 of them in 51 days in 2009).
“Yes, I do keep it up,” he confirms. “I’m doing triathlons now and I will do more marathons. You’ll see it all on Twitter.”

I put it to you, Eddie Izzard, that you are a driven personality.

“Yes, I think I am,” he agrees. “Once I got a break, I didn’t let it go. I thought ‘let’s push it forward and see where we can take it. Let’s see how good you can be.'”

Lost Christmas is on BBC One on Sunday 18 December at 5.30pm

Written by Momo in: Interview,TV |

Jamie Oliver and Eddie Izzard sign up to Big Fat Quiz of the Year 2011

[from metro.co.uk]
TV chef Jamie Oliver and comedian Eddie Izzard have joined Channel 4’s annual Christmas round-up The Big Fat Quiz of the Year along with Miranda Hart, while show favourites Noel Fielding and Russell Brand will not be returning.

Hosted by Jimmy Carr, the comedy quiz show, which looks back at the most notable moments of the year in news, music, TV and showbiz, is now a regular fixture of Channel 4’s Christmas schedule.

The quiz will see some new faces this year, with Jamie Oliver and Eddie Izzard among the celebrities confirmed for the 2011 round-up.
Both have never appeared on the show before, nor has comic Miranda Hart.

The new additions will join long-serving team members Jonathan Ross, David Walliams and David Mitchell, with cameo appearances from stars who made their name during the past year expected along the way.

Fans of the show will be disappointed to hear there will be no Noel Fielding or Russell Brand however, who had the audience in hysterics in 2006 when they formed their quiz team The Goth Detectives.

The Big Fat Quiz of the Year will be broadcast on December 27 at 9pm on Channel 4.

Written by Momo in: News,TV |

Eddie Izzard loves pirate role

[from sun.co.uk]

EDDIE Izzard got so attached to the crutch he used as Long John Silver he took it HOME.
The actor and comedian learned to walk with it because his right leg is lopped off in the first episode of Sky1’s Treasure Island.

But Eddie, 49, couldn’t do without it — even after filming ended. He admitted: “I grew to love the crutch. It looks great.”

Eddie shaved his head to play the legendary pirate role and used a Cockney accent instead of the usual West Country twang. He said: “It twisted it a bit and made it mine.”

And he relished the gritty nature of the Christmas two-parter. He said: “I thought Treasure Island was like panto, but this has real edge.”


[from digitalspy.com]
Eddie Izzard: ‘Sky1’s new Treasure Island is kick-ass like Goodfellas’

Eddie Izzard has compared his Sky1 adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic Treasure Island to the Hollywood gangster film Goodfellas.

Izzard said that he had previously considered the story to be more like a “pantomime”, but claimed that the new two-part drama was “evil enough” to lure him into taking part.

“I agreed to do it because it is a Goodfellas style kick-ass version.” said the comic.

Izzard plays pirate villain Long John Silver, alongside a cast including Phillip Glenister, Donald Sutherland, Elijah Wood, Rupert Penry-Jones, Daniel Mays and Keith Allen.

“The line that I was using was that the original Batman was quite a campy Batman. Then Tim Burton took it, kept it still for the family, but added a real edge to it. This is like the first Tim Burton Batman films,” said Izzard.

“We want to keep everyone watching it, but we also want to add a real edge to it.”

Shot on location in Ireland and Puerto Rico, the two-part adaptation was written by Stewart Harcourt (Poirot, Marple) and directed by Steve Barron (Merlin).

Treasure Island will air on Sky1 over Christmas and New Year.

Written by Momo in: Movies,News,TV |

Actors Eddie Izzard and Eric Roberts Guest Star in the Original Series Set to Debut in Summer 2012

[from TheFutonCritic.com]

IFC’s Original Scripted Comedy, “Bullet in the Face,” Begins Production in Montreal.

NEW YORK, NY – October 6, 2011 – Production begins this week in Montreal, Canada on IFC’s newest original scripted series, Bullet in the Face, a six-part, half-hour comedic action thriller. Creator and executive producer Alan Spencer (Sledge Hammer!) developed the series with producers and executive producers Jesse Prupas and Evi Regev of Muse Entertainment and Just For Laughs Television. The cast includes Max Williams as Gunter Vogler, Neil Napier as Lieutenant Karl Hagerman, Jessica Steen as Commissioner Eva Braden, and Kate Kelton as Martine Mahler, alongside guest stars Eddie Izzard (Valkyrie, Ocean’s Thirteen) and Eric Roberts (The Dark Knight, The Expendables) as notorious crime lords. The series is directed and co-executive produced by Erik Canuel (Barrymore, Bon Cop, Bad Cop) and will debut on IFC in summer 2012.

“Bullet in the Face melds the best of the action/thriller genre with IFC’s comedic sensibility,” said Debbie DeMontreux, senior vice president of original programming, IFC. “This is television like viewers have never seen before and Alan Spencer is the perfect ‘slightly off’ talent to help us bring this new format to audiences.”

“Just for Laughs and Muse Entertainment have long been searching for a unique and edgy comedy to produce together and we were thrilled to find a fantastic and supportive broadcast partner in IFC. We are proud to say that Bullet in the Face is unlike anything else out there, combining hilarity, thrills and non-stop action,” say Executive Producers Michael Prupas (Muse Entertainment) and Bruce Hills (Just for Laughs).

“I am very happy to be doing this show for a network that is ‘slightly off’ as I have been off my whole life,” commented Alan Spencer.

Following a botched jewel heist, sociopath criminal Gunter Vogler awakens in a hospital, surrounded by cops, his head wrapped in bandages. When the bandages come off Gunter’s new face is revealed and police force him to work undercover to take down the city’s crime lords.

Bullet in the Face is produced by Montreal’s Muse Entertainment Enterprises and Just For Laughs Television. Executive producers for IFC are Debbie DeMontreux, Dan Pasternack, Jennifer Caserta and Evan Shapiro.

Written by Momo in: News,TV |

Eddie on QI: 8:00pm Thursday, October 06 2011

(Thanks BZC)

This week’s episode is a quite interesting look at ‘House and Home’. Joining QI Master Stephen Fry ‘in da house’ are panellists Danny Baker, Eddie Izzard, Bill Bailey and Alan Davies.

The panellists’ buzzers sound like door bells. Stephen Fry asks – ‘Many things can influence the value of a house, but what instantly reduces the value of a house in America by a third?’

Written by Momo in: TV |

Eddie in “The Good Wife”

THE GOOD WIFE “The Death Zone” Season 3 Episode 2 airs Sunday October 2 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.

THE GOOD WIFE “The Death Zone” Season 3 Episode 2 – When Alicia wins a verdict in a libel case involving a British businessman, she must quickly learn to navigate English Law when the case is retried in British court via satellite, on THE GOOD WIFE, Sunday, Oct. 2 (9:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. (L to R: Josh Charles as Will Gardner, Julianna Margulies as Alicia Florrick, Simon Dalenay as Timothy Ash Brannon, Emily Swallow as Mandy Cox, John Doman as Eugene Cardiff, guest star Eddie Izzard as James Thrush).


Written by Momo in: Photos,TV |

Eddie Izzard Will Make Guest Appearance on CBS’ “The Good Wife”

[from playbill.com]

Tony Award nominee Eddie Izzard has signed on for a guest appearance in the upcoming season of the CBS series “The Good Wife,” according to TVGuide.com.

Izzard will play Abbott Thrush, an upper-class English barrister brought in to fight Lockhart/Gardner in a libel case that finds its way into British court.

The actor is currently scheduled for one episode, but co-creators and executive producers Robert and Michelle King are leaving it open for a possible return.

“The Good Wife” stars Emmy Award winner Julianna Margulies (“ER,” Festen) as a wife and mother who boldly assumes full responsibility for her family and re-enters the workforce after her husband’s very public sex and political corruption scandal lands him in jail. According to CBS, “Pushing aside the betrayal and crushing public humiliation caused by her husband, Peter, Alicia Florrick starts over by pursuing her original career as a defense attorney.”

Izzard was nominated for a Tony Award in 2003 for his performance in A Day in the Death of Joe Egg and has also been seen on Broadway in Race. His film credits include “Ocean’s Twelve,” “Ocean’s Thirteen,” “Across the Universe” and “Valkyrie.”

“The Good Wife” will return to CBS Sept. 25 and air Sunday nights at 9 PM ET.

Written by Momo in: News,TV |

HitFix Interview: Eddie Izzard talks ‘United States of Tara’ and more

Talking to Eddie Izzard is a good way to feel lazy.

An Emmy-winning stand-up comic, stage veteran, TV/movie actor, political activist and occasional marathoner, Izzard can currently be seen on Showtime’s “United States of Tara” playing skeptical psychology professor Dr. Hattaras opposite Toni Collette. He’s already finished starring in a TV production of “Treasure Island” ticketed for Syfy. He’s developing a political-themed drama for FX. He’ll become the first solo stand-up act to play the Hollywood Bowl later this summer.

And, as I caught up with Izzard two weeks ago, he was in the early stages of performing his show “Stripped” in Paris. In French. Because he wanted to.

That gave us a lot of room to cover. Full interview HERE.

Written by Momo in: Interview,TV |


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