LONDON (AdAge.com) -- U.K. comic Eddie Izzard will appear on British TV on Friday night urging people to cast their votes for the incumbent Labour party in the country's May 6 general election. His entertaining three-minute riff on the big question "Have the Tories really changed?" upends the usual format for a party political broadcast. In the U.K., each of the major parties gets a number of free three-minute TV slots, called party political broadcasts, to put their platform and election messages across in the run-up to an election.
Aired as roadblocks across the U.K. terrestrial TV channels, party political broadcasts are hard to escape and are usually dull, straightforward messages. But not with Mr. Izzard. In his engaging commentary, he talks about how the Conservatives may have changed their suits, but that if elected they would bring back high unemployment, fox hunting and even the feudal system "if given half a chance." He contrasts that with Labour, and the Britain with compassion and community that he sees.
A long-time Labour supporter and a marathon runner, Mr. Izzard says he has run around Britain and thinks the country is "bloody brilliant" and finds it offensive that Tories say the nation is broken. "I support Labour because I believe in brilliant Britain."
The party political broadcasts are very British, but the U.K. is adding a U.S.-style element to the current campaign -- the first live debate between the contenders for prime minister is airing tonight on British TV.