04/04/2014 05:48 BST | Updated 04/04/2014 05:59 BST

Eddie Izzard To Make A Joke Out Of Scottish Independence

Labour supporter Eddie Izzard on stage at Manchester Central during the second day of the Labour Party Conference in Manchester.
Dave Thompson/PA Archive
Labour supporter Eddie Izzard on stage at Manchester Central during the second day of the Labour Party Conference in Manchester.

Comedian Eddie Izzard will urge Scots to remain in the UK with a comedy fundraiser for the Better Together campaign tonight.

The cross-party unionist campaign will launch its new slogan "Scotland, Please Don't Go" with a gig in Edinburgh, featuring the popular English comic and local comedian Andy Todd.

The campaign invites people living elsewhere in the UK to have their say on the referendum. Better Together said that although people living in England, Wales and Northern Ireland did not have a vote in September, they did have a voice.

Todd, author of the satirical book Fat Minister's Question Time, said: "Last week, as part of the Glasgow Comedy Festival, I played a lunchtime gig to two people.

"I was happy. At least I had two people to tell jokes to. They were happy, they also got pizza. On Friday, I'm supporting Eddie Izzard at the Royal Festival Theatre. It's a massive concert but I have to admit that I'm nervous. What if my two 'fans' turn up? They'll know all the punchlines. And there's no pizza.

"Luckily, Eddie will be bringing a lot of other people for what will be an excellent and memorable night. I started stand-up four years ago but stopped for two years in order to write a very technical legal textbook.

"I started back in May 2013 and have been helping with Bright Club Glasgow - a unique comedy night which encourages academics to mix stand-up with research.

"It was through Bright Club that I started telling jokes about the referendum along with 'the law'. On Friday, I'll just tell jokes about the referendum - but if anyone wants to ask me afterwards about the varying title conditions at the Lands Tribunal For Scotland then I know an excellent textbook for that.

"The referendum is a serious issue but that doesn't mean we can't make jokes about it. With months of campaigning behind us and five months still to go it's easy to lose track of the issues as each side goes over them again and again and again.

"A good joke is like a firework. It cuts through everything and makes even the most jaded sit up and listen. The referendum is a decision for the people of Scotland but its impact doesn't stop at Gretna.

"It's right that people in the rest of the United Kingdom make their feelings known. They might not have a vote but they have a voice and it should be heard."

Better Together campaign director Blair McDougall said: "It's great that one of Scotland's brightest comedy talents will have the opportunity to perform at such a high profile gig.

"As Andy says, although we are discussing very serious issues about the future of our country there needs to be room for a bit of humour in this campaign.

"There is something badly wrong if we can't poke some fun at both campaigns. We are really grateful to Andy for his support, and can't wait to hear his act."