'I am in boy mode at the moment and have been for two or three years. I just have an extra girl bit, which is the heels and skirts and make-up.' Certainly, he is not effeminate and he doesn't want a sex-change operation. Just when you think he is taking you, and himself, seriously he will wrong-foot you. 'Like a bloke puts on make-up and heels and goes out looking for a fight.' Izzard won and the gang were fined. Is it that in applying make-up in a crude way they are trying to be caricatures of femininity?
I think people know I'm a transvestite now, so it is time I locked down the boy side of things. 'If I looked beautiful, like Julian Clary, then maybe I would do it. When asked what he thinks is the best thing about being a transvestite, he replies: 'Free booze.' And the worst thing? 'They are only bad at it because they haven't a peer group to advise them,' Izzard says. I think I would benefit from being more of a romantic. Fly off to Spain and throw all my money down at a casino. I concentrate on keeping my career going, on controlling things.
What we do know about his first girlfriend is that she helped him come out and accept himself being a transvestite.
He also claimed that he knew his transvestism had nothing to do with his mother, that it pre-dated her death. 'I get that from my dad.'But he does need therapy, doesn't he?In ancient Greece and Rome it was men who wore them. Why do transvestites talk about needing to wear them almost as a biological imperative? And the penis and the clitoris are essentially the same thing. 'Yeeeah,' he rolls the word out, fluffing up the vowels. They wouldn't get a project green-lit by being seen out with me … I do try to be open about everything else in my life.'Is he difficult to live with? Maybe I over-think things because I'm constantly planning in a military way how to keep clicking forward. Apropos of nothing, he says he wants to leave me with a final thought. 'And women who walk up to me in the street and say, "Don't wear that with that." When I first came out, I looked a mess. 'It's not luck that makes you a success, it is endless hours working out the best way to do things. He seems more composed, less exuberant - though no less amiable. ' Blair: 'No, this is the European Council.' Izzard: 'And there is a Council of Europe and the European Council and they are different? I mean, why couldn't they call one Steve or something? ' It's a funny line, but it makes you wonder how a national figurehead, one who is admired and respected abroad, could have allowed himself to take part in such a frivolous and undignified exercise. And why is he the last Labour luvvie left standing? Tony told me that someone had sent him a letter two months after he got in, saying that they were disillusioned. That is why I still put money in, to try to help them out.'It's a dignified answer. He has also made it on Broadway, as well as Hollywood.As he talks, he stares directly at me with pale-blue eyes that have seen the world and wearied a little of it. Why has he not become as disillusioned as the rest? So he wasn't illusioned in 1997 when he went to that famous Downing Street party? Everyone gets disillusioned with Labour governments. It's traditional.'But what does he make of all those glaring omissions from the list of New Labour supporters? And trying to get all Paxman-like on Izzard is like trying to round up bush babies with a cattle prod. In his latest film, My Super Ex-Girlfriend, he stars opposite Uma Thurman.