Edward John Izzard was born on 7 February 1962 in the Colony of Aden, the younger son of English parents Dorothy Ella and Harold John Michael Izzard. The family name is of French Huguenot origin. His mother was a midwife and nurse, while his father was an accountant who was working in Aden with British Petroleum at the time of Izzard's birth. When Izzard was one year old, the family moved to Northern Ireland, settling in Bangor, County Down, where they lived until Izzard was five. The family then moved to Wales, where they lived in Skewen, West Glamorgan. Izzard's mother died of cancer when Izzard was six and his brother, Mark, was eight. He and his brother built a model railway to occupy their time while their mother was ill (it was donated to Bexhill Museum in 2016). Following his mother's death, Izzard attended boarding schools such as St John's School in Porthcawl, Mid Glamorgan, as well as St Bede's Prep School and Eastbourne College. He said that he knew he was a transgender person at the age of four, after watching another boy being forced to wear a dress by his sisters, and knew he wanted to be an actor at the age of seven.