Never let it be said that Eddie Izzard does things by halves. The flamboyant comedian has set his sights on completing a mammoth charity event challenge later this month in aid of Sport Relief. He will don his trainers and travel across South Africa, as he hopes to complete the ambitious target of 27 marathons in 27 successive days. The event represents a symbolic homage to the great anti-apartheid campaigner and former president, Nelson Mandela, who served 27 years in prison in the country for his beliefs.

Daunting challenge

Not only will the 54-year-old Brit have to cover in excess of 700 miles on foot, but the lack of a rest day throughout the duration of the event leaves him little room for manoeuvre nor an impromptu change of plans.

Add into the mix the likelihood of the celebrity having to endure temperatures up to 30C and the daunting proposition takes on even greater proportions.

BBC Three coverage throughout

With exclusive coverage of Izzard’s monumental journey scheduled to be provided on BBC Three, the funnyman, actor and writer will begin his trek on 23rd February. He then aspires to not only let his feet do the talking, but to also take in the country’s history along the route before his final marathon in Pretoria on 20th March.

Visits to some of the communities, families and organisations that have benefited from the work of Comic Relief are expected to be incorporated into his busy itinerary.

The timeframe for the challenge has been carefully devised so as to hopefully ensure that the conclusion of the ‘Eddie Izzard: Marathon Man’ event coincides with the Sport Relief Games in the UK.

Following Mandela’s life

His route across South Africa also has meaning, beginning in Mandela’s birthplace and then incorporating some of the key landmarks that framed the life story of the iconic figure. As such, there are plans to visit the educational establishments that he studied at and also his place of imprisonment at Robben Island.

Ending at Pretoria is also symbolic, as the Union Buildings were where Mandela made his inaugural speech in 1994 from as South Africa’s newly elected president.

Determined effort by Izzard

Determined to achieve the feat that he attempted and failed to complete four years ago due to health issues, Izzard told the BBC: “This time I will succeed.” Should he be thwarted once again, however, he has vowed tocome back again and again and again until I do succeed.” His motivation comes from Mandela himself as he firmly believes “that's what Nelson Mandela would have done.”

Previous exploits for the charity

He can also draw on the experience from his previous Sport Relief exploits, including the staggering 2009 effort that raised more than £1.8 million for the charity.

On that occasion his challenge was to complete 43 marathons in 51 days in the UK.

Catch it all on BBC Three

Viewers to BBC Three’s in depth coverage can expect to witness more of the trials and tribulations that marked his tremendous 2009 exploits, as Izzard faces up to the physical and emotional barriers that he will no doubt face along the way.