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But tonight the world's most famous transvestite looks, with his cheeky grin and goatie, positively blokey. To a background of faux stone walls, inscribed in what look like hieroglyphics, he flatters the Birmingham audience with the (rather surprising) thought that they're people who "think outside the box" and then he's off: into riffs about the non-existence of God, dinosaurs singing "All things bright and beautiful", hunting before the discovery of tools, Stone Age men struggling to communicate without language and then various cameos from the Bible, including a diary-writing squid in Noah's ark, and Moses grappling with a plague of frogs.

There's the odd moment that falls flat, which provokes a sheepish smile and a mimed note on his hand, "Birmingham not interested in that", but mostly it's delicious. Every woman in the world fancies this short, pale, chunky man who first became famous for going on stage in a frock and, quite frankly, didn't look that great in the frock, or the PVC skirt, or the shiny red suit, but is so funny, and so magnetic, and so compelling that you don't care.

She's an Angelina Jolie look-alike from his other life in LA, the life where he stars in movies with George Clooney and Brad Pitt, and TV series with Minnie Driver, and manages to squeeze in the odd award-winning role on Broadway. He had ice baths every night to soothe the raw, bleeding blisters, but he didn't give up. That will inform my discipline, but actually I'm very lazy. So this man who has, through grinding hard work, achieved superstardom in the world of comedy, and stardom in theatre, and even in Hollywood, and runs more in five weeks than most of us will run in a lifetime, and who is widely acknowledged as one of the most original minds in comedy, and one of the most influential, not to mention the little fact of the lipstick and the stilettos and the frocks, is lazy and boring. He has talked for years of the terrible, immobilising grief of his mother's death from cancer when he was six.

None of which you would guess from watching the guy rootle around in a plastic bucket for cold beers. Over the summer, when he was doing his run for Sports Relief, he got up at 6.30 every day. After she died, he was sent off, with his brother, to boarding school, where he cried for months and then learnt to block his emotions.

At certain points I feel my right eye twitching weirdly and am reminded that Eddie Izzard really can take you to places you don't normally go. By the end of the show, the whole audience would carry him home if they could and I almost feel like stopping random strangers and telling them that yes, I'm off to his dressing room, I'm having breakfast with him in the morning. And somehow, strangely, you think that you're the only person who doesn't.

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