Eddie Izzard’s Marathons for Mandela – TV Review

Eddie Izzard

Since I watched this two-part doco, Nelson Mandela has passed away, with all of the fake-sign-language-interpreter and selfie-taking-politicians that the memorial service brought.

This is a big thing in the UK – comedians doing some big, crazy task for charity and making a documentary. I think it started with the Comic Relief charity that got a bunch of comedians to do a live gig to raise money, and it has grown and grown. If I lived over there, I’d probably hate it and get quite annoyed with it; that’s my cynicism talking. As it is, when this was played on SBS earlier in the year, I recorded it but wondered if I would ever watch it. I love Eddie Izzard’s sense of humour, but did I really want to watch this?

You know what was interesting? Hearing about the early days of Mandela. It’s a bit like all the various documentaries that Stephen Fry does; I learn about things in a very casual and, at times, humourous way. I trust Eddie Izzard and what he has to say; but I did find some of the marathon running a bit tedious. Of course, then things go wrong, it becomes a human drama and I can’t stop watching… Like many a good documentary, this has raised my interest in the topic and I am looking forward to reading a good biography.

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