COMEDIAN Eddie Izzard rallied Labour supporters before meeting voters in a key Yorkshire marginal seat today as he tried to help tip the balance in one of the tightest election races in the region.
Mr Izzard was helping Labour candidate Jamie Hanley in his efforts to win the Pudsey constituency.
He said he hoped to bring a touch of “razzmatazz” to the Yorkshire election campaign as he met customers in The Lounge cafe in Farsley.
It is Mr Hanley’s second attempt to win the seat, having narrowly lost out to the Conservatives’ Stuart Andrew in 2010.
“I came here last time in 2010, he fought, he didn’t win, but he got up again, dusted himself off and said ‘I’m going again’,” said Mr Izzard.
“It shows that he cares, shows that he gives a damn and he’s going to go back in there and fight the fight.
“It’s close, everything going up to the wire, every vote counts, but good weather is coming out, we’ve got the wind our sails now.”
Not content with having earned global fame as an actor and comedian, not to mention running 43 marathons, Mr Izzard has ambitions of his own to win elected office himself.
“I’ve done things in my life a little differently, I came out as transgender 30 years ago, I’ve run a few marathons, I’m now touring France in French, I’m touring Germany in German, on D-Day I’m playing at the Hollywood Bowl for the second time, I was a street performer.
“I’ve got a few ideas, I do things in a slightly different way. Maybe I could bring that in, maybe it could do something in politics, shake it up a little bit, maybe that’s good?
“I’m a real person, I’m not manufactured by something, I’ve obviously been crafted out of my own effort.”
He added: “I’m going to bring that contribution, if people vote for me then I’ll get in and then we’ll see.
“I won’t be able to change politics but I’ll just do what I can.”
Mr Izzard said touring marginal seats was an opportunity to “roadtest” his campaigning-style. including discovering the hazards of wearing high-heeled boots to knock on doors.