Eddie Izzard has had to abandon his challenge to run a marathon each day for 27 days in South Africa due to ‘medical complications’.

The comedian said he was ‘very sorry to let everyone down’ as he announced the odyssey was on hold.

Eddie had finished four of the 26-mile runs when he was forced to quit his unusual tribute to former South African president Nelson Mandela. But he said he will return to complete the punishing trip in the future.

In an online message to his fans, he said: “I set out to run 27 marathons in 27 days as a tribute to Nelson Mandela and his 27 years spent in prison.

“Having completed four marathons, unfortunately, I have had to put my attempt on hold due to unforeseen medical complications that have arisen due to a multitude of factors including severe terrain, humidity and altitude.

“But I wish to say that my attempt is not over and I will return to South Africa and run the 27 marathons and finish this story.”

He added: “I owe that to Nelson Mandela, who has inspired the world to struggle and succeed no matter what obstacles are thrown at us.”

In 2009 Eddie completed 43 marathons in 51 days for Sport Relief.

During his South African challenge, he was also filming a documentary about Mandela, visiting some of the key locations in his life. Money raised from his feat was to be used to help disadvantaged people in the country.

After the third marathon of his challenge he wrote online that it was ‘maybe the hardest I’ve ever run’.