British comedian, actor and endurance runner Eddie Izzard has said he will run 27 marathons in honour of Nelson Mandela, who was jailed for 27 years by apartheid governments before being released to help usher in South Africa's democracy.

Izzard spoke of his plan on the sidelines of a reception for donors at Mr Mandela's foundation and archives in Johannesburg.

He said he will run the marathons in 27 consecutive days in South Africa along routes he will map out himself at sites around the country linked to Mr Mandela's personal history.

In 2009, Izzard ran 1,100 miles in seven weeks across Britain for charity.

Mr Mandela, 93, became South Africa's first black president after its first all-race elections in 1994. He served one term, and now is retired from public life.