02 Jun 2009

You’ve Been Mango’d

By Producer Jack

Abandoning the frivolity of a London bank holiday is never ideal, but assured of the unpredictable we’re excitedly making our way back to LA. We last saw Russ properly the day after the O2 when physically and emotionally shattered we recorded the Noel Gallagher radio show for TalkSport. Off air the record was defined by Noel’s ridicule at our lack of preparation, which I wish I could say was unfair. All I can offer in consolation is that our shambolic spontaneity seems to be an arena in which he thrives. In your face Noel.

Arriving at the house in LA we’re greeted only by Gabi the Mexican housekeeper. Lovely as she is, it’s not quite the carnival parade we’d hoped for. That said, she does seem pretty pleased to see us even if I am gauging this only from vague facial expressions and minor hand gestures – a cunning English linguist she ain’t. One thing we do glean is that she refers to Russell as ‘Baby Russell’. Now, I’m pretty confident there is no spark between them, which begs the question: why the prefix of ‘Baby’? What be her motivation? If I ever return home to find him mid change on the dining table – I resign.

Despite his absence clues of Russell’s recent presence are evident. Wandering around the house I feel like a wildlife expert on the trail: ‘The Secret Life Of Brand’. “Yes here we have something, it’s an open packet of dried mango split and devoured, and here further evidence; it’s the Black Mac book open on Google and a Russell Brand search, and yes…. yes absolute confirmation if it were needed, it’s a pair of white Y fronts tossed on the floor in the hall. A quite beautiful example of the species known as Russell Brand.”

Aware we are here for a while I make a lame effort to transform my room into something approaching homely. I do this by hanging up my West Ham shirt and stealing a plant from the lounge – an admission, I’ve just realised that might upset Gabi. So, sorry about that Gabi. “I said. I stole. A plant. From… never mind.”

Russ finally returns and after some ‘Chicken style’ tofu burgers from the other side of town we’re off to bed. “Chicken style’ tofu burgers from the other side of town?” I’ve just had a vision of a gang of tofu burgers in little leather jackets and shades crossing town on the metro for an unwinnable scrap with our hungry hands. I guess a more realistic battle for them would have been a fight with the Weetabix men of the 80’s. Now there was a marketing tool that worked. I loved those little dudes. I haven’t dressed like a cereal since. Don’t worry, I don’t think anyone noticed – I just claimed I was into Bros. It was just luck that I had a brown flaky face.

Anyway, for once we’re thankful for the jet lag as the car arrives at 5.30am to take us to set. 5.30am? That’s a getting home time. It transpires that Ol’Russ is doing some serious hours making the comedy these days.

First impressions at the location are inside the trailer, again we know it’s his because of the dried mango, that and it says ‘Aldous’ on the door. Inside the familiar faces of Tom and Nicola are doing what they can to get Russell out the door. Here we all are then: ‘Twits On Tour’ today’s show: Hollywood film set. Unbelievable.

Despite our prestigious surroundings nothing changes. Russ is convincing Nicola that he’s told the crew she’s got a flatulence problem, Tom is giggling, but stressing that we need to leave and Gareth, in typical form has found a massage chair that he’s playing in like a trainee dentist when the boss goes out.

On set Russ is relaxed, at ease with the quite berserk situation. On camera he’s slick and in control adding adlibs that leave the crew biting into their knuckles. It appears a series of new adventures lay ahead, we’ll do our best to keep you informed. Until then eat dried mango.