Eddie Izzard to run 27 marathons in 27 days for Sport Relief 2016

The comedian will run across South Africa, tracing the story of Nelson Mandela’s life and visiting communities that have been helped by Comic Relief

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Eddie Izzard is aiming to run a staggering 27 marathons in 27 days across South Africa – one for every year Nelson Mandela spent in prison.

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The journey in aid of Sport Relief will see Izzard complete a total of 700 miles in temperatures up to 30 degrees centigrade.

The comic’s route will trace the story of Mandela’s life, starting in his birthplace before visiting the university where he studied, Cape Town and Robben Island where he was imprisoned. Izzard is set to finish up at the Union Buildings in Pretoria where Mandela gave his inaugural speech as the first democratically elected President of South Africa in 1994.

Izzard’s no stranger to gruelling charity challenges. In 2009 he raised more than £1.8 million after completing 43 marathons in 51 days across the UK for Sport Relief. In 2012 he tried a similar feat in South Africa, but had to pull out for health reasons.

The new online-only BBC3, which launches tomorrow, will exclusively cover Izzard’s epic journey from Tuesday 23rd February to Sunday 20th March.

The money raised for Sport Relief from the Eddie Izzard: Marathon Man challenge will be used to help transform the lives of some of the most disadvantaged people both at home in the UK and across the world’s poorest communities.

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“Eddie is undoubtedly one of our Sport Relief legends, and we are absolutely thrilled that he is going to push himself to the physical limit once again,” said Kevin Cahill, Chief Executive of Comic Relief. “What he did for Sport Relief last time was truly astonishing and raised a staggering amount of money that has really helped to transform lives at home and across the world. We are beyond grateful for his continued support and will be with him every step of the way.”