Sky 1 orders Eddie Izzard’s Mandela marathon series

UK pay TV channel Sky 1HD has ordered a three-part series following actor and comedian Eddie Izzard’s attempt to run 27 marathons across South Africa in 27 days, with each marathon marking one year that Nelson Mandela spent incarcerated in prison.

Eddie Izzard’s Mandela Marathons will be transmitted this autumn and will be produced by All3Media-owned Lion TV.

In the series Izzard will also be telling Mandela’s story and the turbulent history of South Africa. He will begin in the Eastern Cape, where the former president was born and travel to Cape Town, where one of the marathons will take place on Robben Island – where Mandela spent the majority of his 27 year long prison sentence. The last few marathons will be in the Johannesburg area finishing in Pretoria, where he was on trial.

Nick Catliff, executive producer and managing director Lion TV, added: “This is very much for real. Nothing is guaranteed. Eddie will be running for 700 miles through open country, across mountain ranges, through cities and in townships. If he gets there in one piece it will be a very personal tribute to Nelson Mandela.”

Siobhan Mulholland, commissioning editor, factual & features, Sky commented: “Eddie Izzard’s Mandela Marathons is going to be a fun and thought provoking three part series. Eddie will bring his own insights into South Africa’s recent past, with his unique interviewing style.”