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Meet The Izzards

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Messages: 1 - 50 of 82
  • Message 1. 

    Posted by Quizzimodo (U551071) on Wednesday, 20th February 2013

    I thought this would be better

    Boring & Izzard, surprisingly, is not a good host

    Report message1

  • Message 2

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by Mgw4 (U15624249) on Wednesday, 20th February 2013

    Ghastly pop version of what could have been interesting - how to explain big ideas to us stupid viewers No Thanks

    Report message2

  • Message 3

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by Portly (U1381981) on Wednesday, 20th February 2013

    It's not bad. I would stick with it, as I think it will get more interesting as we get closer to the present day.

    Report message3

  • Message 4

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by Huckerback (U14411634) on Wednesday, 20th February 2013

    On the basis of the write-up in the Radio Times, plus seeing a couple of trailers, I didn't bother watching it.
    It seemed a bit lazy.

    Report message4

  • Message 5

    , in reply to message 4.

    Posted by Andrew (U14703834) on Wednesday, 20th February 2013

    Well I thought it was interesting and Eddie funny at times.

    Report message5

  • Message 6

    , in reply to message 5.

    Posted by hollybeau (U13700692) ** on Wednesday, 20th February 2013

    I loved it and found it very interesting, Eddie's such a naturally warm person I thought he was perfect for this programme.smiley - ok

    Report message6

  • Message 7

    , in reply to message 6.

    Posted by zencat (U14877400) on Wednesday, 20th February 2013

    Who does he think he is!? smiley - smiley

    Report message7

  • Message 8

    , in reply to message 6.

    Posted by daliscar (U15564228) on Wednesday, 20th February 2013

    Izzard is kryptonite to me. I lose the will to live.

    Report message8

  • Message 9

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by QE (U15612083) on Wednesday, 20th February 2013

    I thought this would be better  I thought it would be worse.

    The title made me think it would be like Ozzy Osbourne dire offering and the description made me think it would be like 'Who Do You Think You Are?'

    In fact it is a fascinating journey through history via markers in Izzard's DNA, taking us from the first human exodus from Africa via Pompeii and the Vikings to the present day.

    And that was just on his mother's side. Looking forward to part 2 tomorrow!

    Report message9

  • Message 10

    , in reply to message 8.

    Posted by Leavinmybody2ProfAlice (U5846227) on Thursday, 21st February 2013

    Izzard is kryptonite to me. I lose the will to live.  I've got his box set.

    Happy to lend it to you any time. smiley - winkeye

    Report message10

  • Message 11

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by Peta (U24) on Thursday, 21st February 2013



    www.bbc.co.uk/progra...

    Episode 1 of 2
    DURATION: 1 HOUR
    Comedian and actor Eddie Izzard embarks on a unique, epic and personal journey using his own DNA to trace the migration of his ancestors out of Africa and into Europe over almost 200,000 years. A simple saliva swab and the latest cutting-edge DNA science help Eddie explore the secrets of his genetic history. In this first film Eddie explores his mum's line over the last 10,000 generations, tracing her ancestral route across 10,000 miles all the way back home to Britain.

    Along the way he meets some of his modern DNA cousins, from the African bush to the shores of the Red Sea, as he discovers how humans populated the globe, why he has blue eyes and how the Izzards ended up in Europe.


    Report message11

  • Message 12

    , in reply to message 11.

    Posted by Peta (U24) on Thursday, 21st February 2013


    There are loads of reviews by newspapers out there, so have a search and read a few if you're interested. smiley - ok

    I haven't read them myself, so you can find out whether *they* like it or not!

    Report message12

  • Message 13

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by Andy (U14048329) on Thursday, 21st February 2013

    Boring & Izzard?

    Is that a firm of solicitors?

    Report message13

  • Message 14

    , in reply to message 13.

    Posted by Letty2 (U14833928) on Thursday, 21st February 2013

    I enjoyed the programme and like Eddie's laid-back approach.

    Loved the part where he was painting fingernails - the glee on some of the recipitents' faces! smiley - smiley

    Report message14

  • Message 15

    , in reply to message 13.

    Posted by Grounded Griselda (U14326837) on Thursday, 21st February 2013

    I thought it was pretty good.

    I was a bit concerned when they were with the bushmen in Africa that it was going to become one of those 'presenter must have a go at all activities' programmes, but apart from the Viking rowing it didn't.

    It was also refreshing that Izzard didn't blub or resort to 'amazing' or 'incredible' every few minutes as they often do on Who Do You Think You Are. But then I never thought he would. David Morrisey is also an excellent narrator, just enough expression to be interesting without being annoying.

    They said at the end that there were 'relations' with other species in the past - is our Eddie part Neanderthal???

    Report message15

  • Message 16

    , in reply to message 13.

    Posted by Portly (U1381981) on Thursday, 21st February 2013

    It's a theme that has been visited before, particularly "The Story of Us" fronted by Dr. Alice Roberts. (And what a front! smiley - loveblush )

    However, our genetic inheritance is such a fascinating subject, I consider it well worth more programmes. I also think it is politically useful, in that the knowledge of the reality of genetics helps to dispel those notions of racial purity that stoke the fires of nationalism.

    Why the programme-makers should have selected Eddie Izzard to be the guinea-pig is a bit of a mystery. Izzard's eccentricity may be a bit of a distraction but - hey ho - I don't suppose it matters very much.

    Report message16

  • Message 17

    , in reply to message 13.

    Posted by Prinkma (U14661090) on Thursday, 21st February 2013

    I like Eddie Izzard, so I watched it. It was a bit light, I thought. could have been more interesting. A few family trees back to Eve would have been helpful, showing branches off.

    The period when humans first lived in the Yemen was glossed over. From other TV documentaries and reading online I gathered that a tiny population came across from Africa, stayed in the Yemen for about a thousand years, interbreeding and causing DNA changes, and from there they finally moved out to populate the rest of the world. I thought they could have gone into that in more depth, as it's that short period that most deeply affects populations outside of Africa.

    Perhaps in tonight's programme they'll cover whether he has traces of Neanderthal DNA. That would be interesting.

    Report message17

  • Message 18

    , in reply to message 16.

    Posted by Annie-Lou (U4502268) on Thursday, 21st February 2013

    I love Eddie but this was wafer-thin stuff. What was the side visit to Pompeii all about?? And what does Eddie rowing a long boat tell us?? It was so shallow it really didn't achieve anything.
    Dr Alice's programme was way better.

    Report message18

  • Message 19

    , in reply to message 17.

    Posted by Ziggy (U14268308) on Thursday, 21st February 2013

    I thoroughly enjoyed it especially the bit about the blue eyes. I have blue eyes and so do my two granddaughters where neither of their parents do.

    I digress, love Eddie Izzard and so much better than the programme that preceded it with Angela Rippon.

    Report message19

  • Message 20

    , in reply to message 18.

    Posted by Portly (U1381981) on Thursday, 21st February 2013

    I love Eddie but this was wafer-thin stuff. What was the side visit to Pompeii all about?? And what does Eddie rowing a long boat tell us?? It was so shallow it really didn't achieve anything.
    Dr Alice's programme was way better. 
    I think it's to do with the BBC's noble vocation to bring knowledge to the masses. I don't suppose Dr. Alice's programme had huge audience ratings. The logic, I think, is to make a documentary about the history of homo sapiens as revealed by genetics, but to attract more viewers by putting a celeb in the middle of it.

    I think it would be possible to bring this off, but there are of course enormous Heffalump-traps, the largest of which is that the celebrity may up-stage the science.

    Report message20

  • Message 21

    , in reply to message 20.

    Posted by GrouchoM (U14261501) on Thursday, 21st February 2013

    I'd put Eddie in my top 5 comedians in the world. However this prog stank - how could the Beeb waste his talent? So much potential, so much baloney.

    Report message21

  • Message 22

    , in reply to message 21.

    Posted by Portly (U1381981) on Thursday, 21st February 2013

    I'd put Eddie in my top 5 comedians in the world. However this prog stank - how could the Beeb waste his talent? So much potential, so much baloney.  I think that's way too harsh. A documentary series tracking a single individual's genetic history is a very good idea. I think Eddie Izzard was probably the wrong choice. Many viewers such as your goodself must have tuned in expecting him to be funny, which wasn't really the point. smiley - smiley

    Report message22

  • Message 23

    , in reply to message 22.

    Posted by GrouchoM (U14261501) on Thursday, 21st February 2013

    good point Portly but the whole "documentary-lite" thing just didnt work for me - I actually thought Eddie was underused. He is a very serious, dedicated man & should have been portrayed as such. To me it was a criminal waste. But it seems typical of the BBC1 style of dumbing down - perhaps it should have been put on BBC4 & given more gravitas.

    Report message23

  • Message 24

    , in reply to message 23.

    Posted by hollybeau (U13700692) ** on Thursday, 21st February 2013

    It was on BBC1 at 9.00pm, it never was going to be a scientific masterpiece, just a lighthearted look at where we came from through the eyes of someone well known and in that it achieved it's end.Looking forward to the next programme and his father's lineage.smiley - ok

    Report message24

  • Message 25

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by meldrewsrevenge (U13159010) on Thursday, 21st February 2013

    I agree, it would have been so much better without the Izzard. I don't see what Eddie fishing, Eddie making a fire, Eddie going 'wow' added to anyone's understanding. I would like to have had the mechanism of these mysterious markers explained to me (there weren't such things as genes when I was at school). The irritating BBC Celeb Culture is obviously an evolutionary survivor though because it tramples through everything from strength to strength

    Report message25

  • Message 26

    , in reply to message 24.

    Posted by meldrewsrevenge (U13159010) on Thursday, 21st February 2013

    It was on BBC1 at 9.00pm, it never was going to be a scientific masterpiece, just a lighthearted look at where we came from through the eyes of someone well known and in that it achieved it's end.Looking forward to the next programme and his father's lineage.smiley - ok  But what would be the point of a 'lighthearted look'? Any moron can stand and giggle (or gasp 'amayyyyzing!') at anything, the point of such a programme on primetime telly aimed at us masses should surely be to explain rather than just elicit giggles. I did psychology, I don't understand genes, and I would like to, and if it has to be explained to a non specialist like me with lego bricks fine. But this programme, like so much of the BBC's documentary output, made no such attempt at explanation: all it wanted was gasps of 'amayyyyzing!' One bloke went to Africa and dug up tubers, anopther bloke who knew all the answers sat in a lab somewhere. That is cretinously poor documentary making.

    Report message26

  • Message 27

    , in reply to message 18.

    Posted by Essential Rabbit (U3613943) on Thursday, 21st February 2013

    Dr Alice's programme was way better. 
    Completely agree.

    I can't recall a documentary programme that was the better for being presented by a "celebrity" rather than a qualified and experienced expert.

    Certain sections of all broadcasters seem to think that nothing is relevant unless seen through the eyes of someone famous.

    Report message27

  • Message 28

    , in reply to message 19.

    Posted by the_cleaner (U3423083) on Thursday, 21st February 2013

    I thoroughly enjoyed it especially the bit about the blue eyes. I have blue eyes and so do my two granddaughters where neither of their parents do.

    I digress, love Eddie Izzard and so much better than the programme that preceded it with Angela Rippon. 
    "I thoroughly enjoyed it especially the bit about the blue eyes."

    The Milkman...smiley - laugh


    Gave up after 15 mins, I was bored.

    Report message28

  • Message 29

    , in reply to message 28.

    Posted by Sue_Aitch (U3336990) on Thursday, 21st February 2013

    Really enjoyed ep 1: Eddie'd taken his London 2012 Games Maker umbrella along.smiley - biggrin

    Report message29

  • Message 30

    , in reply to message 29.

    Posted by Portly (U1381981) on Thursday, 21st February 2013

    I think it's over-the-top to attack this programme as "dumbing-down" etc. etc. A serious study of the science of genetics would attract very few viewers. This is just an entertaining series to give viewers a flavour of the subject and perhaps lead some people to investigate further. smiley - smiley

    Report message30

  • Message 31

    , in reply to message 27.

    Posted by daliscar (U15564228) on Thursday, 21st February 2013

    Dr Alice's programme was way better. 
    Completely agree.

    I can't recall a documentary programme that was the better for being presented by a "celebrity" rather than a qualified and experienced expert.

    Certain sections of all broadcasters seem to think that nothing is relevant unless seen through the eyes of someone famous. 
    Thirded.

    I happen to find Izzard intensely annoying, but would not want it presented by any other celeb either.



    Even one without painted fingernails.

    Report message31

  • Message 32

    , in reply to message 31.

    Posted by Guv-nor (U7476305) ** on Thursday, 21st February 2013

    And the second part tonight.

    Report message32

  • Message 33

    , in reply to message 32.

    Posted by Quizzimodo (U551071) on Thursday, 21st February 2013

    I saw this & all the way through the & the style just made we think: "was Michael Palin not available?"

    Report message33

  • Message 34

    , in reply to message 33.

    Posted by saffiewalks (U11222674) on Thursday, 21st February 2013

    I agree, a poor programme about a fascinating subject that deserved much better. I watch on subtitles which really bought home how often E Izzard said WOW to just about everything - thought he was an intelligent man despite the fingernails.

    Report message34

  • Message 35

    , in reply to message 34.

    Posted by pinkcardi (U13786532) on Thursday, 21st February 2013

    Agreed; so disappointing and lazy. A lot of money spent flying all over the world, for little real information and content. Eddie Izzard has bags of personality that didn't really come across. In fact he just looked tired and at times disconnected. It would have been better if he had done Who do you think you are.

    Report message35

  • Message 36

    , in reply to message 34.

    Posted by Straw_Donkey (U14516455) on Thursday, 21st February 2013

    I wasn't too sure about the repeated claims that Izzard was the first person to do this. Even our very own POV host Jeremy Vine traced back his lineage using a spit sample for his radio programme a year or so ago. Or did they mean that he was the first person to travel the globe due to the DNA test? Not much of a claim, no-one else has had The BBC/us offer to fund the trip.

    Overall it was ok, Eddie Izzard is a good presenter but I agree with others that a geneticist should have been used.

    Report message36

  • Message 37

    , in reply to message 33.

    Posted by the_cleaner (U3423083) on Thursday, 21st February 2013

    I saw this & all the way through the & the style just made we think: "was Michael Palin not available?"  ......Or Bruce Parry.smiley - winkeye

    Report message37

  • Message 38

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by ashleyhr (U14203741) on Thursday, 21st February 2013

    Useless fact of the day. It was NOT Pythagoras who shouted 'Eureka!' in the bath. It was Archimedes.

    I must investigate those genetic 'markers' (not my own just what the word means).

    Report message38

  • Message 39

    , in reply to message 38.

    Posted by looksalot (U14606492) on Thursday, 21st February 2013

    I though it was an interesting and thought provoking programme. Well presentedby Mr Izzard. I enjoyed it and wish I could have my own DNA test!

    Report message39

  • Message 40

    , in reply to message 39.

    Posted by Geometry_Man (U12739007) ** on Thursday, 21st February 2013

    Just finished watching both parts of the programme one after another.

    I got pretty much what I expected for a 9.00 show on BBC1, fronted by Eddie Izzard and with the promise of exotic locations - i.e. lots of travel, jokey presentation and not a lot of science.

    I did find it interesting and entertaining though. Not quite sure about the device of having the genetics doctor from Edinburgh supposedly directing Eddie's itinerary from his base. I suppose he wasn't available to travel with him, although he did show up on the Danube.

    Alice Roberts covered similar ground somewhat more academically on BBC2 in 'The Incredible Human Journey' and 'Origins of Us', but there were a couple of things in this I don't think she mentioned - probably because they're recent discoveries.

    Report message40

  • Message 41

    , in reply to message 39.

    Posted by Essential Rabbit (U3613943) on Thursday, 21st February 2013

    wish I could have my own DNA test! 
    Rob a bank. smiley - winkeye

    Report message41

  • Message 42

    , in reply to message 41.

    Posted by Stela Paya (U15111183) on Friday, 22nd February 2013

    I think taking a couple of ordinary members from the public and following their DNA migration would have been more interesting, and perhaps would have focussed more on the refreshing close connectedness of current humans. I also agree with some of the above views that the programme was too dumbed down. Strange how no reference was made to maternal clans (see Prof Bryan Sykes' Oxford Ancestors site) and even the phrase "mitochondrial DNA" wasn't used. Dr. Jim Wilson seemed a great presenter though and would be good to see him do a follow-up to this programme.

    I also have another comment regarding this programme but will post separately. (It seems that any quirky view automatically gets barred from the message board, although celebrities on BBC TV can swear, curse and be as eccentric as they like!)

    Report message42

  • Message 43

    , in reply to message 42.

    Posted by Stela Paya (U15111183) on Friday, 22nd February 2013

    Also, the programme is a clear "finger-up" to those who promote prejudice against other people (knowingly or through shear ignorance or misguided righteousness) based on national / "racial" / cultural or religious grounds.

    Report message43

  • Message 44

    , in reply to message 43.

    Posted by stewiegriffin (U1168126) on Friday, 22nd February 2013

    It was deathly dull.

    Report message44

  • Message 45

    , in reply to message 42.

    Posted by saffiewalks (U11222674) on Friday, 22nd February 2013

    Enjoyed this episode more than the previous one, Eddie actually made me laugh a couple of times when he wasn't Wowing.
    Personally I found Dr Jim in Edinburgh who knows an awful lot a bit arch especially when face to face with Eddie. Shame his jolly on the BBC only went as far as the Danube, wonder if he went Tourist?
    Still think there is a programme left to do on this, taking a more serious and indepth look.

    Report message45

  • Message 46

    , in reply to message 43.

    Posted by daliscar (U15564228) on Friday, 22nd February 2013

    Also, the programme is a clear "finger-up" to those who promote prejudice against other people (knowingly or through shear ignorance or misguided righteousness) based on national / "racial" / cultural or religious grounds.  Whatever its other demerits it was certainly that.
    I was reminded of a programme a couple of years ago when a woman who belonged to some " racial purity " right wing movement was presented with clear DNA evidence that she had middle eastern genes...she refused to believe it anf announced her intention to sue the BBC.
    I suspect that she never did. smiley - smiley

    Report message46

  • Message 47

    , in reply to message 18.

    Posted by bobbins (U15546097) on Friday, 22nd February 2013

    I love Eddie but this was wafer-thin stuff. What was the side visit to Pompeii all about?? And what does Eddie rowing a long boat tell us?? It was so shallow it really didn't achieve anything.
    Dr Alice's programme was way better. 
    I love Eddie Izzard, but I agree, it was disappointing. In particular the Pompeii side story was just filler and irrelevant to Eddie's genetic history.

    Best books I've read on the subject are The Seven Daughters of Eve by Bryan Sykes and Stephen Oppenheimer's The Origin of the British.

    Report message47

  • Message 48

    , in reply to message 47.

    Posted by Stela Paya (U15111183) on Friday, 22nd February 2013

    I love Eddie but this was wafer-thin stuff. What was the side visit to Pompeii all about?? And what does Eddie rowing a long boat tell us?? It was so shallow it really didn't achieve anything.
    Dr Alice's programme was way better. 
    I love Eddie Izzard, but I agree, it was disappointing. In particular the Pompeii side story was just filler and irrelevant to Eddie's genetic history.

    Best books I've read on the subject are The Seven Daughters of Eve by Bryan Sykes and Stephen Oppenheimer's The Origin of the British. 
    Seven Daughters of Eve is brilliant - not sure why the BBC isn't jumping on this.

    Report message48

  • Message 49

    , in reply to message 42.

    Posted by Prinkma (U14661090) on Friday, 22nd February 2013

    even the phrase "mitochondrial DNA" wasn't used 

    I have to disagree. The whole first programme was following the mitochondrial DNA, and it was referred to fairly often AFAICR.


    Report message49

  • Message 50

    , in reply to message 49.

    Posted by Geometry_Man (U12739007) ** on Friday, 22nd February 2013

    One of the most astonishing things (to me) is that remains of Neanderthals have been found as far south as Israel, and that the few Homo Sapiens who originally entered Europe via the Middle East must have immediately interbred with them (because absolutely everyone descended from people who left Africa has some amount of Neanderthal DNA).

    (Were they singing this? :- www.youtube.com/watc... )

    Report message50

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