The accolade recognises lifetime contribution to British arts, and previous winners include writers J.K. Rowling and Harold Pinter, and Julie Walters.

Izzard will receive the trophy at a ceremony in London on Sunday (05Jun16).

Awards host Melvyn Bragg, who is also a previous recipient of the prize, honoured Izzard on Friday (03Jun16) by stating, "He works across such a wide waterfront with an unmatchable, often uncatchable style and wit. We're delighted that he joins the ranks of those who have won this outstanding achievement award."

This has been a magical year for the funnyman, who completed 27 marathons in 27 days in South Africa - one for each year the country's late leader Nelson Mandela spent in prison - to raise money for Sport Relief.