The Dames Up ! Barry Humphries retires his alter-ego Dame Edna

Australian comedian Barry Humphries has revealed he plans to retire his most iconic character Dame Edna Everage.

Humphries, 78, announced that the lilac-haired dame will bid her farewell at the end of his latest tour.

The veteran comic said he felt a “bit senior” and is ready to move on.

Humphries also does not want to see his favourite character outlive her sell-by date as he remembers happening to performers when he was growing up.

“It was commented that ‘you should have seen him when he was funny’,” he explained. “I want to avoid that being said about me and know that I can’t keep doing it.”

The ‘average Australian housewife’ Dame Edna – best known for her trademark horn-rimmed glasses, outlandish wardrobe and her love of gladiolis – first appeared on stage in the 1950s.

But with another book to write, Humphries wants to focus on other things than his stage performances.

“Look, the fact of the matter is that I’m beginning to feel a bit senior,” he said, “I love it and it’s healthy for me.

“It’s the best aerobics you could do, leaping around on stage, but it’s gruelling when there are other things to do.”

Humphries will begin his Australian tour in Canberra on June 22 with his new show, Eat Pray Laugh! – which takes its inspiration from Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat Pray Love.

At the end of his stage tour he will say goodbye to Dame Edna as well as the much-loved characters Sir Les Patterson and Sandy Stone.


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