Comic legend Eddie Izzard met young voters as he joined the Labour campaign through Erewash today (Thursday, April 23).
The multilingual, Emmy-award-winning comedian joined local candidate Catherine Atkinson and West Bromwhich East candidate Tom Watson, who organised the tour.
They met with local Drama and Performing Arts students at the Chatsworth Arts Centre in Long Eaton, and offered advice about sticking to your dreams and being determined to succeed in the entertainment industry.
Eddie Izzard said to the sixth-formers from Wilsthorpe Community School: “I can give you a tip. I had 10-11 years when nothing happened.
“I couldn’t really tell my parents, they was an encouragement to go to university where I did accounting, financial management with mathematics.
“I dropped out, like Steve Jobs, like Bill Gates, and decided to go for my dreams.
“I was absolutely certain I’d be on TV with my own series by 25. I was 24 and a half and nothing was working.
“I was trying so hard to be good but you have to let go a bit. Trying to be a political, trying to do anything you want – if you try too hard it can bounce back in your face.
“I gradually decided to work on the material until it was good enough, and determination is the key thing.
Determination will pull talent out of you, it will pull creativity out of you.”
We quizzed him on his thoughts about the recent #milifandom twitter meme, said to be turning Labour Leader Ed Miliband into youth icon.
He said: “Ed has a great sense of humour, he’s an honourable person, a hard working person.
Describing himself as a British European, 53-year-old stand-up and actor said: “We should stay in the EU because if you want to change it you have to be inside it. “It’s not going anywhere, if we pull out we still have to trade with it. We’ll lose jobs, multinational companies will move to mainland Europe. It’s a crazy idea to leave.”
More important than anything today is that people vote, he added.
“I just want people to use it, men and women have fought and died for the vote and are dying all around the world.”
So does he think people should vote safely and tactically for the two central parties, or should they vote for what they really believe in?
“I would say, you have to be practical about this and it’s either David Cameron or Ed Miliband who’s going to be running the country after the election.”
Catherine Atkinson, fighting for the Erewash seat, said: “It’s fantastic to meet performing art students in the duchess theatre, which people absolutely love in Long Eaton. We’ve got culture in Erewash and it’s great to be able to show it off. we’ve got great.
Zachary Foster, 18, at Wilsthorpe Community School said: “I thought it was really useful, especially for someone like me that doesn’t really know about politics. It was useful to get a feel for it.
Lizzie Rhodes, 18, said: “I’m quite passionate about equality and everyone being equal to each other no matter what your age, race or sexuality is.”