Eddie Izzard wishes Norwich luck

Kim BriscoeComic Eddie Izzard has wished Norwich good luck in its bid to become the UK's first City of Culture.Support Norwich on FacebookKim Briscoe

Comic Eddie Izzard has wished Norwich good luck in its bid to become the UK's first City of Culture.

The marathon-running charity fundraiser paid a whistle-stop visit to the city yesterday to back Labour's General Election candidates.

Mr Izzard, who recently ran 43 marathons in 51 days to raise money for Sport Relief, said that, if successful, the accolade would bring more people to the East.

He said: 'I happily say good luck to Norwich in trying to pick up the City of Culture.

'It will be great to have a City of Culture.'

Mr Izzard admitted he could not fully endorse Norwich's bid, as he needed to back all the cities taking part and in particular went to college in Sheffield.

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He joked: 'I have to support any town or city in the country for City of Culture. But go for it because you're Vikings aren't you?'

Norwich is on the shortlist alongside Birmingham, Sheffield and Derry/Londonderry. The four cities have until May 21 to finish formulating final bids for the 2013 City of Culture.

It is estimated that the title could bring in up to �200m in investment at the same time as using cultural initiatives to kick-start regeneration in deprived areas.

Mr Izzard described Norwich as 'the opposite of Cornwall', explaining that it was also out on a limb, and said winning the bid would bring focus on the city. He said: 'Sheffield and Birmingham are more in the centre and people travel through them to other places.'

The comedian, who has filmed a Party Political Broadcast for the Labour Party, also reaffirmed his own intention to run for office, saying it would happen in about a decade.

He said: 'I said two years ago I would stand. I have 10 years to get to the place I want to get to.'

Mr Izzard, who also visited Lowestoft and Cambridge yesterday, backed the campaigns of Norwich North and Norwich South candidates John Cook and Charles Clarke and met constituents at the controversial brain sculpture in Norwich's Hay Hill.

Do you have a story for the Evening News? Contact reporter Kim Briscoe on 01603 772419 or email kim.briscoe@archant.co.uk.

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