British comedian Eddie Izzard is set to receive a lifetime achievement prize from scholars at Massachusetts' prestigious Harvard University.

I'm accepting an atheist award at Harvard from harvardhumanist on Feb 20. I'll try to be as entertaining as poss (possible)

The Ocean's Thirteen actor has been jointly selected as the honouree of the Cultural Humanism Award by members of the Humanist Community at Harvard, the American Humanist Association and the Harvard Community of Humanists, Atheists, and Agnostics.

Celebrating the news via his Twitter.com blog, the funnyman writes, "I'm accepting an atheist award at Harvard from harvardhumanist on Feb 20. I'll try to be as entertaining as poss (possible)".

Fellow comedian Stephen Fry, author Salman Rushdie and The Avengers writerdirector Joss Whedon have all previously accepted the accolade.