12 Oct 2010

Live: Watch Russell’s New York Times Talk

Here is an clip from the live interview. Check the New York Times website for more

06 Apr 2010

The unstoppable rise of Russell Brand

When Russell Brand was 16, he inscribed a school-leaving card to his first girlfriend. “You might be as famous as me one day,” he wrote. “If so, see you at the top.” There was no “might”, not from the very beginning, about how famous Russell Brand expected to be.

But the rest of us might have been forgiven for thinking the game was up for Brand after the 2008 incident when, egged on by Jonathan Ross, he prank-called the elderly actor Andrew Sachs to boast he had slept with his granddaughter. The incident cost him his show on Radio 2 and turned much of the UK media against him. Yet, a year-and-a-half on from “Sachsgate”, while Ross’s star is falling, Brand has become a transatlantically famous name.

Having been eagerly photographed waltzing up the red carpet into Vanity Fair’s post-Oscars party with pop star fiancee Katy Perry, Brand now has six feature films either in development or post-production. A sequel to his bestselling autobiography, My Bookie Wook, is under contract with a new publisher, and Oliver Stone – who has said that Brand reminds him of Jim Morrison – is reported to be executive-producing a documentary about him. Less than two years after many were predicting the end of his career, this spindleshanked loon in women’s trousers looks set to take over the world. How, it’s fair to wonder, did this come about?

Read the full article HERE.

29 Mar 2010

‘The squad has turned into a Caligulan sex fiasco’

By Russell Brand, 28/03/2010
LIKE most people, when I pop to the lavvy during a football match something important happens.

I missed Gazza’s yellow card against Germany in 1990 because I was in the loo.

Michael Owen’s goal against Argentina in 98 – I was unwell that year and by the time Beckham scored a penalty against Argentina in 2002 I had quite a serious drug problem and never really left the toilet.

So now that I’ve been away from home for a few months, living with my future wife and squinting at football on the internet, I shouldn’t be surprised that the National game has gone berserk.

Oddly, I suspect that my absence has been an influence, in fact I feel like that bloke in Gremlins who entrusted the lad with the Mogwai with very simple, if mysterious, instructions only for bedlam to be unleashed when they were ignored.

Not that I offered the FA or the Premiership any guidelines before I departed. I didn’t say for example “Keep Wayne Bridge’s ex missus well away from Stamford Bridge” or “You might wanna confiscate Ashley Cole’s phone” or “Don’t feed Peter Crouch after midnight.” But after all the chaos that’s ensued I wish I had.

Not that Crouch has done anything weird yet, but I’ve a hunch that he is going to self subdivide into a tribe of malevolent Goblins and wreak havoc on a small American town any minute now.

Which in my view would be no more peculiar than Manchester City’s Roberto Mancini’s preppy sideline assault on grizzled Everton boss Davis Moyes. In history few men with great hair have been decent fighters and Mancini’s glorious silver summit looks like it could manage City without him and still find time to pick up chicks on it’s Vespa at the Trevi fountain. David Moyes on the other hand, comports himself as if he’s always on the precipice of nutting someone.

If I was gonna kick off against a premiership manager it would not be Moyes – he looks like a biter, plus he’s Iggy Pop wiry and them fellas can normally pummel ribs with whippety abandon.

I suppose Mancini, who along with Arsene Wenger, has too many letters of the side he manages in his name, is new to British football and probably hasn’t sized up who it’s wise to have a crack at yet, like a new kid at school trying to make a rep for himself. Yes, I was once that new kid and foolishly elected to establish myself by “offering out” Jeff Dawkins, who it transpired, was a man-child warlord for whom fighting was a kind of hobby, like Subbuteo but without being able to glue the broken legs back together. Mancini also ought to have considered removing his scarf before embarking on his boffin squabble, which I notice he’d tied in a Brit-Pop Chris Evans style, resembling a prefect afraid to leave Sixth Form and thus loitering in quads into his late forties.

Wenger with his intellectual continental airs and graces (by which I mean glasses) would actually be a more befitting opponent if Mancini does want a row, unless he’s one of those blokes who looks a bit nerdy but then is surprisingly good at martial arts – like Spiderman.

What is more surprising than the fracas itself (and my presumed ability to induce the absurd bout by being in America) is the ridiculous punishment meted out by the officials at the match. “Gentleman! Stop fighting! You’re grown men and you’re behaving like schoolboys! Now go and wait in the changing rooms. When you’re ready to apologise you can come back out and play.”

I bet Moyes gave Mancini a right kicking in the tunnel: that scarf wrenched tight around his perfumed neck till his face was as red as Moyes’ is when relaxed. And none of this would’ve happened if I’d been watching – just like Gazza’s yellow card.

I know it’s daft to believe in these superstitions: sods law (my Dad calls it c**ts law, he loves swearing), knocking on wood, and toilet rituals but how else are we to cope with the chaos in the world around us generally and football specifically?

My team, West Ham, on current evidence seem like they would benefit from crossed fingers and lucky charms even if that were in the form of some novelty breakfast cereal and severed arthritic digits as the Championship plummet has begun at an eerily inconvenient time.

New chairman David Sullivan wrote an open letter to Hammers fans on Wednesday morning in spite of admitting “not having slept.” Never write anything that can be broadly read when exhausted. I’m writing this while buzzing on coffee and morning glory, when I write things late at night, mostly love-letters, I’m always incredibly relieved to see them on my pillow in the morning if I don’t send them. They’re always desperate and tear-stained (or worse) and are better off in my possession than tormenting their intended recipient.

The best thing about getting married is that now I only have one person to write to and we live together: in the past there were a lot of people to correspond with – I had to resort to spamming. I suppose I could’ve done a Sullivan-style open letter “I was disgusted by last night’s performance against Wolves” is a direct quote from Sullivan’s rant and directly applicable to a scenario I became involved in after once getting locked up after hours in London Zoo. The letter doesn’t cover all of the indiscretions committed that drunken night though, I’ll have to learn sign language to apologise to that chimp. Again, thank God I’m getting married.

It seems marital and conjugal relationships are destined to have an impact on England’s success in the South African World Cup this summer. Which is a pity because it seemed that when I left the shores of Albion all was well with the forthcoming campaign. The moment my back was turned and I embraced a life of cherished monogamy the England squad became a Caligulan sex fiasco.

Flirty texts, affairs and spurned handshakes, that’s no way to lure back the Jules Rimet to Blighty. Jules Rimet actually sounds like the sort of kinky move that Wayne Bridge’s ex, Vanessa Perroncel might enact.

I for one hope that Wayne Bridge changes his mind and joins the squad. The World Cup is once every four years, during that cycle a half-decent Premiership player could go through nine marriages.

Sadly David Beckham won’t be playing at the tournament due to his Achilles injury.

It’s a bit ironic that his Achilles heel turned out to be his Achilles heel, we should’ve seen that coming. That’s like discovering that Chernobyl was caused by someone literally throwing a spanner in the works.

I don’t know if Beckham should accept FIFA’s offer to “Play some part in the opening ceremony”. The opening ceremony is always rubbish, usually some combination of releasing balloons, spelling out words by getting people to hold bits of coloured paper above their heads or worst of all “Majorettes”. I can’t see David Beckham wanting to be involved in that: “David would you mind holding this purple card above your head? It dots the I in the ‘Kick Racism Out Of Soccer’ sign. No? Well could you twirl this baton? What do you mean you’ll drop your crutches?”

If something interesting does happen you can rest assured that I’ll miss it, although now that I’m a “fiancé” and happily engaged if I’m in the loo it won’t be for a fix or a threesome, I’ll be checking that I put the seat down.

If I wipe it as well and maybe arrange a little dish of Potpourri it might buy us enough time for England to win the World Cup.

Read the original article here

01 Feb 2010

video: Vanity Fair shoot March 2009

This vid from the photo shoot for Vanity Fair in March 2009 is well worth another viewing.
And here’s a trivia question for you – Both Charlie Chaplin and Russell were ‘discovered’ performing at which London theatre?

03 Nov 2009

Russell interview in The Times

Russell Brand: Seeking salvation
His amazing sexual prowess, his obsession with Helen Mirren, his recovery from addiction, his radio shame — Russell Brand confesses all to Chrissy Iley. Then he tells her he’s seeking redemption. Will we forgive him?
Read more here

22 Oct 2009

Saxon Nosh Job

by Russell Brand. (Originally published in The Sun.)

Should Racists be allowed on Question Time? This seems to be the question plaguing our nation from where I’m standing across the sea -where everyone is a potential immigrant. I think the answer is “yes” – as long as it’s Gardeners’ Question Time; I’d like to hear BNP Arkala Nick Griffin fuming at a Dahlia on account of it’s hue or provenance- “Bloody flowers- growing over here- stealing our bees.”

I suppose if you’re of the view that extremists are fundamentally (and God knows they love a bit of fundamentalism) wrong then there’s no harm in popping them on the telly and letting them gurgle up their chuckle brained hate-broth – the more people who witness Nick Griffin equivocate on myopic loathing the better it is. He’s a daft sod so there’s no risk of him turning up on Question Time and being so dashed magnetic and persuasive that Dickie Dimbleby slips under the table to issue a worshipful Saxon nosh-job.
He’ll just prattle on in a vague way about borders and division when quite obviously, spiritually and physically we are one. We have 30 percent identical DNA to Bananas, 60 percent identical to Earth worms and 98 percent identical to chimpanzees, how different then can we be from each other?

When I was a junkie (sorry, did I ever mention that?) I once hung out with BNP berk protégé Mark Collett who at that time was leader of the young BNP – suggested slogan “Why let your youth and innocence prevent you loathing others for being slightly different? Join the young BNP”
How bloody young? Can we encourage newborn Caucasian babies to recoil from non-white medics? To enact an oily clamber into the Aryan sanctity of the womb if they encounter pigmental variation amidst the howls and placenta? Perhaps we should post jingoistic pamphlets into the vaginas of expectant mothers for foetuses to devour – like the recent BNP ones that reapproppriate the image of Churchill and war heroes to promote racial purity.

Or ought I pre-empt even gestation and ask Nick Griffin to whisper sweet, malicious nothings into my nutbag each morning to turn me sperms suspicious before they make the Windrush into a potentially liberal ovum – “in fact Nick, while you’re down there…”
Although Nick wouldn’t be up for any of that as the ol’ gays are despised by him and his grey drizzle of a recently outed army – 12,000 British BNP members, maximum – of whom only one in eight are female, so should they achieve utopia they’re going to have to get a lot more liberal on the “same sex” liaison front.

I, as alluded, whilst a befuddled lad made a film with Mark Collett – I say “with”- it was more an expose than a collaboration, we weren’t the Coen brothers, I was a heroin addict and he was a racist (part 1 and indeed part 2 and finally part 3 ) during the film Mark, who is now head of BNP public relations, delightedly referred to homosexuals as “AIDS monkeys”. Perhaps you didn’t get that so I’ll repeat it – the man who is HEAD OF BNP PR referred to gay folk as AIDS monkeys, I fancy then, with this in mind, that we, the right thinking people of Earth are on relatively safe ground when it comes to the “war of words” with televised bigots.

Presumably Griffin and Collett will have some manner of consultation before QT where they’ll discuss strategy.
Griffin: Right, Mark this is a great opportunity for the party to make an impact – how are you getting on with the slogans?
Collett: Rather well actually. “Is Brown getting you down? Both the politician and the skin colour? Vote BNP.”
Griffin: Great. It rhymes and will make me seem damned sophisticated – the audience, by which I mean the white heterosexual audience, will love it. Anything on the woofters?
Collett: Yep – call ‘em Aids monkeys – break a leg.

I think the BBC are right to grant a forum to nit wits, Lord alone knows I’ve said some silly things on the Corporation’s dime (Did they mention it?) and I have great confidence in the ability of British people to recognise prats peddling rhubarb and that’s what the BNP are. Right-wing views can be seductive and toxic in troubled times when astutely rendered by Machiavels but belched out by that tit Griffin I’m sure it’ll just be an amusing bit of irrelevant TV.

Russell donated his fee for writing this article to The London Gypsy Traveller Unit

11 May 2009

Why the Hitman and hurt is not for me

When contemplating attending a boxing match, I did not consider the shame and fear in the eyes of the defeated. Had I done so I would not have gone.

Of course I know that I dislike violence but I imagined that I’d be more of the mind that boxing provides opportunity and discipline for young men that would otherwise be forced into careers as rat-catchers and rent boys. But as I watched an undercard bout at the MGM Grand before Ricky Hatton and Manny Pacquiao took to the ring I saw in the eyes of the lad on the ropes an identifiable dread.

The emotion that I’d feel if I found myself in a glittery, over-lit cavern, swirling moths lost in the abyss, greased and sweating whilst highly calibrated blows lanced my consciousness? Dread. A dread that would be exacerbated further if, through the headache being pummelled in from without, I glanced down to see I was wearing awful satin trunks.

Boxer shorts – the type of pants that bear that name are bad enough but at least they’re comparatively succinct next to those gleaming bloomers that actual boxers wear, which never cease. They begin at the ribs and merrily resolve only when they’ve transgressed the knee. Given that they’re called trunks they ought to be a little more truncated; currently they maraud across the pugilist’s form like Nazis.

Before Ricky Hatton enters, the chanting rolls down the raked seating, a tide of English din. The overtly American atmosphere of Las Vegas is temporarily rinsed away and with the belligerent “Kiss me quick – squeeze me slow” rancour of the horde I am reminded that really this place is not so different from Blackpool. “Walking in a Hatton wonderland” they sing, and their anthem is self-fulfilling for with each rendition the utopia is further augmented.

Amongst them I feel an uncommon surge of fraternity and patriotism. The people I was with were confident Americans but few would be reckless enough to challenge the sovereignty of the venue, so damn British that when, on Ricky’s arrival, the actual national anthem was played, I bloody well sang along. As much as I could because the lyrics are a bit obtuse. I get all the “noble Queen” and “send her victorious” stuff but the bit just before the first “God save our Queen”, which I just discovered is “long to reign over us”, has never breached my cognisance till now.

How many times have I been subjected, literally, to that bloody song and still the words are a mystery? I just looked them up: verse two includes the line “confound their knavish tricks” – that’s berserk. Do we really, as a nation, have to confound knavish tricks so frequently that it needed to be incorporated into our country’s theme tune? What a lot of rhubarb.

“The Dutch are planning a series of knavish tricks – only God, in conjunction with the Queen, can confound them. Stick it in the anthem.”

Nonetheless, in the highly jingoistic atmosphere of the MGM Grand I stood and sang along; I suppose because abroad one’s primal need to belong is enhanced and if boxing as a sport is one thing, it is primal. Men standing punching each other’s heads till one of their brains turns off.

Ricky Hatton is a lovely man and so it seems is Manny Pacquiao, the latter almost a statesman through his sport, and through their endeavour both men have achieved stature and dignity. For them to then become the hollering focus of a bawling, vicarious mob hate-wank is on the whole not a positive step for our spiritual evolution as a species.

I felt so sorry for Ricky as he went down, his pride temporarily undone. When I voice this most people gurgle up some cunk about the millions the fighters receive. I’m glad they’re well remunerated because in the moment where darkness closes in around the battered mind perhaps the money provides some compensation.

I don’t think I’ll go to boxing again. I’m not suggesting it be banned or that nothing positive comes from it because I know people whose lives have been positively touched by the sport. But I do think it celebrates aspects of our nature which ought be handled with caution and respect because we are ultimately animals and if we do not regard that then, oddly, our humanity is compromised.

That is why I love football – unifying, exciting, beautiful, significantly less violent (with one or two obvious exceptions) football. When football is played by the rules the only people who get hurt are the fans.

First published in The Guardian, Saturday 9th May 2009

12 Apr 2009

This week’s Guardian column

Read Russell’s latest column in the Guardian here

05 Apr 2009

Guardian column

A nod and a blink and Alan Shearer is Geordie Pope
Read Russell’s latest Guardian column here