- Russell Brand
name = Russell Brand
birth_name = Russell Edward Brand
birth_date = birth date and age|1975|6|4|df=yes
Grays, Essex, England
medium = Stand-up,
television, film, radio
nationality = British
active = 2000 ndash present
Morrissey, Peter Cook, Richard Pryor, Eddie Izzard, Jack Kerouac, Bill Hicks
website = http://www.russellbrand.tv/
Russell Edward BrandNick Barratt. [http://www.telegraph.co.uk/portal/main.jhtml?xml=/portal/2007/03/24/nosplit/ftdet124.xml "Family Detective: Russell Brand"] . "
Daily Telegraph". 24 March 2007. Retrieved 20 September 2007] (born June 4, 1975) is a British comedian, actor, columnistand a presenterof radioand television. Born in Grays, Essex, he began his acting career at the age of 15 when he played the part of Fat Sam in a school production of " Bugsy Malone". [cite web|url=http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/showbiz/article-23383497-details/Russell+Brand+-+evolution+of+the+%27Sex+Insect%27/article.do|title=Russell Brand - evolution of the 'Sex Insect'|publisher="This Is London"|date=2007-01-29|accessdate=2008-10-11] [cite web|url=http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-392247/Russell-Brand-A-modern-rakes-progress.html|title=Russell Brand: A modern rake's progress|publisher="Daily Mail"|date=2006-06-23|accessdate=2008-10-11] He subsequently gained a three-year scholarship at the Drama Centre London. [cite web|url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio2/shows/brand/biography.shtml|title=BBC Radio 2 Biography|publisher=" [BBC Radio 2"|accessdate=2008-10-11]
Brand was born in Grays, Essex,
England, the only child of Barbara Elizabeth (née Nichols) and Ronald Henry Brand, a photographer.Nick Barratt. [http://www.telegraph.co.uk/portal/main.jhtml?xml=/portal/2007/03/24/nosplit/ftdet124.xml "Family Detective: Russell Brand"] . " Daily Telegraph". 24 March 2007. Retrieved 20 September 2007. This article gives his place of birth as " Thurrock". Thurrock is the unitary authority within which Grays is located.] His parents separated when Russell was six months old. Brand had a quite isolated and lonely childhood. [ [http://www.docklands24.co.uk/content/docklands/whatson/story.aspx?brand=Docklands&category=whatsonbooks&tBrand=docklands&tCategory=zwhatson&itemid=WeED26%20Nov%202007%2017%3A19%3A51%3A887 Docklands24 - Author Interview: Russell Brand ] ] Brand made his theatrical debut at age 15, as "Fat Sam" in a school production of "Bugsy Malone", and his performances earned him a council funded education at the private Italia Conti Academy, which led to a three-year scholarship at the Drama Centre London, in Chalk Farm.
Brand's first significant stand-up appearance was at the
Hackney Empire New Act of the Yearfinal in 2000. Although he did not finish in the top three, his performance attracted the attention of an agent, John Noel. His first big tour was his show "Shame" which he toured the UK and performed to sell out audiences drawing on embarrassing things that have happened, and the tabloidpress and how they have treated him since he became famous. In late November 2006 Russell put on a secret stand-up show for anyone who had added him as a friend on MySpace. This show featured unseen material not featured on his DVD. Brand performed a sketch with close friends Matt Lucas& David Walliamsfor a " Little Britain" live show for Comic Relief in which he played a crossdressingplumber who comes out to "fellow crossdresser", Emily Howard. Brand appeared in a sketch and did stand-up at the 2006 "Secret Policeman's Ball". In March 2007, Brand performed a charity show with Noel Fieldingcentred around the "Goth Detectives". The idea for the show was inspired by Jonathan Ross, who, on "The Big Fat Quiz of the Year 2006", suggested that Fielding could play Bob Skeleton ("Indie Detective"), which led to Brand and Fielding jokingly describing a fictional scenario in which they were "Goth Detectives."
During a performance at the Royal and Derngate Theatre,
Northamptonin July 2008, Brand made a hoax call claiming he had spotted a man responsible for a series of assaults. Brand issued an apology for his actions, but Northamptonshire Policehave not yet announced whether any charges will be brought. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/7508863.stm Brand apologises for prank call] ]
Brand's first presenting role came as a VJ on music channel MTV presenting "Dance Floor Chart" and
MTV Select. However he was fired after coming to work dressed as Osama bin Ladenthe day after the September 11, 2001 attacks. [cite web
url = http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2007/nov/13/biography.drugsandalcohol
title = And then I became a junkie ...
|By genre |Guardian Unlimited Books
accessdate = 2007-11-18
last = Brand
first = Russell
publisher = "
After MTV, Brand featured in , a British documentary and comedy television programme that aimed to take a challenging look at cultural taboos. It was conceived, written and hosted by Brand, with the help of his comic partner for many projects, Matt Morgan. The series was shown on the now defunct digital satellite channel UK Play in 2002. As confirmed in his memoirs 'My Booky Wook' and mentioned in his radio shows, Brand was often drunk or on heroin during the filming of RE:Brand.
In 2004, he hosted "Big Brother's Eforum" on E4, a sister show to Big Brother 5. The show gave celebrity guests and the public the chance to have their say on the goings-on inside the Big Brother house. For Big Brother 6 the show's name changed to "
Big Brother's Big Mouth". The ratings for "Big Brother's Big Mouth" during Big Brother 7 were good. [ [http://www.barb.co.uk/viewingsummary/weekreports.cfm?RequestTimeout=500&report=weeklytop30 TV Viewing Figures Summary] ] Following the racism row of "Celebrity Big Brother 5", Brand confirmed he would not return to host the "Big Brother 8" series of "Big Brother's Big Mouth" (although the row was not cited as the cause); in a statement Brand thanked all the producers for "taking the risk of employing an ex-junkie twerp" to front the show and of his time presenting the show, he said: "The three years I've spent on "Big Brother's Big Mouth" have been an unprecedented joy." [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/6526833.stm Brand quits Big Brother spin-off] at BBC News] Brand hosted a one-off special called "Big Brother According to Russell Brand" in which Brand takes a surreal, sideways look at Big Brother through the ages. On 8 January 2008, Brand was the fifth celebrity to hijack the Big Brother house, [ [http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/bigbrothercelebrityhijack/a83754/russell-brand-speaks-to-the-house.html Russell Brand speaks to the house] ] in the E4 show "".
Brand returned to MTV in the spring of 2006 as presenter of the chat show "
1 Leicester Square" initially going out at 8 p.m. on Sundays before being shifted to a post-watershed time of 10 p.m. on Mondays, allowing a more adult theme to the show. Guests have included Tom Cruise, Uma Thurman, McFlyand Boy George. A second series began in September 2006 on MTV UK. After "Big Brother 7" finished, Brand presented a debate show called " Russell Brand's Got Issues", on digital channel E4. The viewing figures for the first episode were seen as disappointing, being beaten by nearly all of E4's main multi-channel rivals, despite a big publicity and promotional campaign for the show and achieving only 148,000 viewers on the opening night.Then on 9 November 2006, it was announced that Brand would host his own chat show called "The Russell Brand Show". The first episode was broadcast on Friday 24 November on Channel 4[ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/6133116.stm Brand and Ross to go head-to-head] at BBC News] and the show ran for five weeks. In December 2006, he took part in Channel 4's annual " The Big Fat Quiz of the Year", presented by Jimmy Carr. He was teamed with Noel Fieldingfrom " The Mighty Boosh". They went on to win the quiz after receiving 22 points for one question (quizmaster Jimmy Carrhad jokingly said that he'd give them 22 points if they got it right, assuming that they would get it wrong, as they were giving blatantly incorrect answers to the other questions).
Brand presented the 2006
NME Awards, and was famously called a "cunt" by Bob Geldof, to which Brand replied, "Really it's no surprise he's [Geldof] such an expert on famine he has after all been dining out on, " I Don't Like Mondays," for 30 years." [ [http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2006/jun/18/broadcasting.arts Interview with Russell Brand | Media | The Observer ] ] Brand hosted the 2007 BRIT Awardsand presented Oasiswith their Outstanding Contribution to Music award at the event. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/6205786.stm Russell Brand to host Brit Awards] at BBC News] He also hosted one hour of Comic Relief. On 7 July 2007, he presented at the UK leg of Live Earthat Wembley Stadium, London.
Brand returned to Channel 4 to host "
Russell Brand's Ponderland", in which he discusses various topics like childhood and science through stand-up comedy. The show first aired on Monday 22 October 2007, and was on every weeknight that week. A second series has been recorded, but it is not known when it will be aired. A documentary presented by Brand and Matt Morgan about the writer Jack Kerouacand his novel On the Roadcalled "Russell Brand On the Road" aired on 12 December 2007 on BBC Four.
Brand's stint as host of the
2008 MTV Video Music Awards[ [http://www.nme.com/news/russell-brand/38433 Russell Brand to host MTV Awards] ] was not without controversy. At one point, he said the night, "marked the launch of a very new Britney Spearsera," referring to it as, "the resurrection of [Spears] ," and, "if there was a female Christ, it's Britney." [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/7602885.stm "BBC - Brand makes controversial comments at MTV awards".] BBC.co.uk. 8 September 2008.] Brand implored the audience to elect Democraticpresidential candidate Barack Obamaand later called U.S. President George W. Bush, "a retarded cowboy fella," who in England, "wouldn't be trusted with scissors." [Schmidt, Veronica. [http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/music/article4703539.ece "Russell Brand calls George Bush a 'retard' at MTV awards."] "Times" (London). 8 September 2008.] He made several references to the purity rings worn by the Jonas Brothers, but later in the show, apologised for those comments. [Reynolds, Simon. [http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/showbiz/a129835/brand-apologises-for-jonas-vmas-gag.html?imdb "Brand apologises for Jonas Brother's VMA Gag"] . digitalspy.co.uk. 8 September 2008.]
Brand's first major TV acting work was an appearance in an episode of "
The Bill" in 1994. In 2002, he filmed roles in the television comedy dramas " Cruise of the Gods" and "White Teeth". In 2005 he played Tommy in the BBC sitcom "Blessed" which was written and directed by Ben Elton. He auditioned for the part of Super Hansin the Channel 4sitcom "Peep Show", but was rejected by the writers in favour of Matt King. [cite news|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/hi/entertainment/newsid_7351000/7351096.stm|title=Brand 'rejected for Peep Show role'|accessdate=2008-04-16|date=2008-04-16|publisher= BBC Newsbeat]
In 2007, Brand played a recovering crack addict called "Terry," in the pilot for
ITVcomedy "The Abbey", written by Morwenna Banks. [ [http://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/tm_headline=russell-stars-in-sitcom&method=full&objectid=18095225&siteid=94762-name_page.html 3am Entertainment Gossip & Celebrity News - Mirror.co.uk] ] "The Abbey" was commissioned for a full series to be shown on ITV2. Filming was due to begin in January 2008 but the series has since been cancelled. Also that year, he appeared in "Cold Blood" for ITVplaying an ex-con called Ally.
Brand first major film role was as
Flash Harryin the 2007 film "St Trinian's", although it is not known if he will reprise the role for the upcoming sequel "St Trinian's: The Legend of Fritton's Gold". He filmed a small role in 2006 for "Penelope". His breakthrough role was in the 2008 film " Forgetting Sarah Marshall", in which he played Aldous Snow, the boyfriend of the title character (played by Kristen Bell). Brand received rave reviews for his performance as Snow. [ [http://www.uncut.co.uk/film/russell_brand/reviews/11447 FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL - Russell Brand] ] He will again play the character of Aldous Snow for a buddy comedy entitled "Get Him to the Greek", co-starring Jonah Hill. [ [http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117984458.html?categoryid=13&cs=1 Apatow, Stoller speak 'Greek'] ] He is reuniting with "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" director Nicholas Stollerand producer Judd Apatowfor the film also. [ [http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117984458.html?categoryid=13&cs=1 Apatow, Stoller speak 'Greek' Universal buddy comedy stars Hill, Brand] ] It is described in " Variety Magazine" as a "very dirty take on " Almost Famous".
Brand has finished filming a starring role alongside
Adam Sandlerin a new Disneyfilm "Bedtime Stories", to be released Christmas 2008. [ [http://www.reelzchannel.com/movie-news/1335/russell-brand-tells-adam-sandler-bedtime-stories Russell Brand Tells Adam Sandler Bedtime Stories] ] Sandler has cast Brand in another film and will produce another, co-written by Brand and Morgan, about a conman posing as a priest tentatively called "Bad Father". [The Russell Brand show August 23, 2008] [ [http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/showbiz/bizarre/article1492896.ece Adam's own Brand of comedy] ]
Brand's radio career began in early 2002, when he hosted a Sunday afternoon show with Matt Morgan on London's Indie Rock station
Xfm. Brand was fired from this job after reading out pornographic material live on-air. Brand has also co-hosted "The Russell Brand Show" since it began in April 2006 on BBC 6Music. As of November 2006, the show airs on BBC Radio 2on Saturdays from 9pm until 11pm. The show has over 2 million listeners.Fact|date=August 2008
Brand has written a column in "
The Guardian" since May 2006 which has been about West Ham United and the England national football team. A collection of the columns from May 2006 till June 2007 was released on 15 November 2007 in a book entitled, "Irons in the Fire". [ [http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0340961368 Irons in the Fire (Hardcover)] at Amazon.com] A second collection of the columns for the 2007/2008 season will be released on 16 October 2008 and will be called "Articles of Faith." [ [http://www.amazon.co.uk/Articles-Faith-Russell-Brand/dp/0007298811/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1220302864&sr=1-8 Brand, Russell. "Articles of Faith".] amazon.co.uk.]
Brand's autobiography, "
My Booky Wook", published by Hodder & Stoughton, was released on 15 November 2007. The book gained a positive reception upon release. The Observercommented that "Russell Brand's gleeful tale of drugs and debaucheryin "My Booky Wook" puts most other celebrity memoirs to shame." [ [http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2007/nov/25/biography.features A shot in the arm for Brand awareness] , The Guardianreview] Brand was to play himself in a film adaptation of his autobiography, to be directed by Michael Winterbottom, but the project has since been shelved by Brand, who did not want American audiences to learn of his "chequered past" without reading the book first. [cite news|author= Hilton, Beth|title= Brand scraps "Booky Wook" film|url= http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/movies/a97128/brand-scraps-booky-wook-film.html|work= Digital Spy|date= 2008-05-31|accessdate= 2008-05-31] [ [http://www.thisisleicestershire.co.uk/displayNode.jsp?nodeId=196789&command=displayContent&sourceNode=196788&contentPK=20462452&folderPk=112383&pNodeId=196828&returnNodeId=196828 Russell's ego takes a bashing] ]
He signed a £1.8 million two-book deal with
HarperCollinsin June 2008. The first book will be released Christmas 2008, with the second expected to be released the following year. [ [http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/showbiz/a100146/brand-book-will-be-about-philosophy.html Brand: 'Book will be about philosophy'] ] [ [http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/showbiz/a99844/brand-signs-gbp18-million-book-deal.html Brand signs £1.8 million book deal] ]
The Beatlessong " When I'm Sixty-Four" with Grammy Award-winning composer David Arnoldfor the 40th anniversary of " Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band". He contributed two songs to the soundtrack of the 2008 film " Forgetting Sarah Marshall" as part of the fictional band, "Infant Sorrow." [cite web|title=HMV|url=http://hmv.com/hmvweb/displayProductDetails.do?ctx=280;-1;-1;-1&sku=797475]
Brand lives in
Hampstead, London. [14 July 2007 – "The Russell Brand Show" on BBC Radio 2] He is a big fan of The Smithsand, in particular, their ex-frontman Morrissey, so much so that he has a cat of the same name. He has been a vegetariansince the age of 14, [cite news | url=http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2006/jun/18/broadcasting.arts | title= Interview with Russell Brand | publisher= The Observer| date= 2006-06-18| accessdate=2008-04-14 ] does yogaand Capoeira. [ [http://www.nowmagazine.co.uk/celebrity-news/255534/russell-brand-to-get-tattoo-of-a-castrated-rooster-on-his-back/1/ Russell Brand to get tattoo of a castrated rooster on his back | Celebrity News | Now Magazine ] ] Brand is a fan of West Ham United and has a season ticket. His love of football is a big part of his life; he claims it is "intrinsically about my relationship with my father." [ Interview - LIVE Magazine, 29th July 2007 ] He dresses in a flamboyant bohemian fashion describing himself as looking like an "S&M Willy Wonka." [" Friday Night with Jonathan Ross" – [12 May 2006] He has bipolar disorder. ["http://www.thecnj.co.uk/review/2007/122007/books122007_02.html]
He is a former
heroinaddict, sex addict, alcoholic and has had numerous run-ins with the police, having been arrested 11 times for public indecency. [ [http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2006/jun/18/broadcasting.arts This charming man] , interview between Brand and The Observer] During the time of his addiction, he was known for his debauchery, a notable example being his ejection from The Gilded Balloon, in Edinburgh. [ [http://www.guardian.co.uk/stage/2004/aug/17/comedy.edinburghfestival20043 Pleasance, Edinburgh] , review by The Guardian. Brand attended Hockerill Boarding School (now called Hockerill College) from 1980 to 1984.] He has abstained from drug use since 2003 and is now a patron of the addiction charity "Focus 12". [ [http://www.focus12.co.uk/ Focus 12] ] His abandonment of drugs and alcohol was instigated by his agent John Noel. [ [http://scotlandonsunday.scotsman.com/ViewArticle.aspx?articleid=2824371 scotsman.com] .] He did so with the help of the Hare Krishnas, to whom he feels "indebted". [ [http://observer.guardian.co.uk/7days/story/0,,1989933,00.html Pendennis] at The Guardian]
Brand dated Australian actress
Teresa Palmerbetween May and September 2008. [ [http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/story/0,23663,23978096-10388,00.html?from=public_rss Teresa Palmer woos British comic Russell Brand] ] [http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/story/0,26278,24346632-5013560,00.html]
**2006 Best Stand-Up [ [http://www.timeout.com/features/liveawards/winners.php?cat=comedy 20th Time Out Live Awards Winners - Comedy] by
**"Most Stylish Man of the Year 2006" [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/5319176.stm McCartney is GQ's Man of the Year] at
**"Least Stylish Man of the Year 2007" [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/6517341.stm Bond actor is 'most stylish' star] at
**"Least Stylish Man of the Year 2008" [ [http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/showbiz/a92628/russell-brand-named-worst-dressed-man.html Russell Brand named 'worst-dressed man'] at
*Loaded Laftas 2006
**"2006 Funniest Man" [ [http://www.loaded.co.uk/laftas Loaded Laftas] ]
British Comedy Awards
**"Best Newcomer 2006" [ [http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/showbiz/article-21205155-details/Little+Britain%27s+big+win/article.do Little Britain's big win] ]
*33rd Annual Television and Radio Awards Broadcasting Press Guild
**"Best Television Performer In A Non-Acting Role" [ [http://www.broadcastingpressguild.org/ Broadcasting Press Guild] ]
**"Europe's Sexiest Vegetarian 2006" [ [http://www.peta.org.uk/feat/sexyveg2006_winners.asp Fearne Cotton and Russell Brand Voted 'Sexiest Vegetarians'] by PETA]
**"Europe's Sexiest Vegetarian 2007" [http://www.peta.org.uk/feat/sexyvegwinners2007.asp Fiona Phillips and Russell Brand Named PETA Europe's Sexiest Vegetarian Celebrities of 2007] by PETA]
**"World's Sexiest Vegetarian 2007"
Channel 4's 100 Greatest Stand-Ups
**69th in Channel 4's 100 Greatest Stand-Ups programme
**"Shagger of the Year 2006"
**"Shagger of the Year 2007"
British Book Awards
**"2008 Biography of the Year" [ [http://www.publishingnews.co.uk/bba/pnbb_shortlist_biography.asp? 2008 Biography of the Year] ]
University College Dublin
James Joyce Award"
Friday Night with Jonathan Ross" (2006, 2007 twice, 2008)
Rob Brydon's Annually Retentive" (2006)
Soccer AM" (2006)
Secret Policeman's Ball" (2006)
*"The Big Fat Quiz of the Year 2006" (2006)
*"Teenage Cancer Trust Benefit" (2007)
The Culture Show" (2007)
The Paul O'Grady Show" (2007)
Dawn French's Boys Who Do Comedy" (2007)
Have I Got News For You" (2007)
The Graham Norton Show" (2007)
*"The Big Fat Quiz of the Year 2007" (2007)
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" (2008 three times)
The Late Show with David Letterman" (2008)
Late Night with Conan O'Brien" (2008)
Jimmy Kimmel Live" (2008)
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" (2008)
* "Russell Brand: Live" (2006)
* "Russell Brand: Doing Life" (2007)
Russell Brand's Ponderland" (2008)
* "The Russell Brand Collection" (2008)
* "Russell Brand And Noel Fielding Live" (2008) [http://www.bbcshop.com/Comedy/Russell-Brand+Noel-Fielding-Live-DVD/invt/2edvd0362&bklist=]
*"St Trinian's" (2007) as
*"Penelope" (2008) as Sam
Forgetting Sarah Marshall" (2008) as Aldous Snow
*"Bedtime Stories" (2008) as Mickey
*"Get Him to the Greek" (2009) as Aldous Snow ["
Richard & Judy" – July 11 2008]
*"Bad Father" (2009) as Unknown ["
The Russell Brand Show (radio show)" – September 6 2008]
*"The Tempest" (2010) as Trinculo [ [http://www.empireonline.com/news/story.asp?NID=23388 Shakespeare Gets A Sex Change}]
* "Russell Brand: Live" (2006)
* "Russell Brand: Doing Life" (2007)
* "My Booky Wook" (audiobook version) (2008)
* "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" - 40th anniversary re-recording (TBA)
My Booky Wook" (2007)
*"Irons in the Fire" (2007)
*"Articles of Faith: My Season" (2008)
*cite book |title=
My Booky Wook|last= Brand|first= Russell|year= 2007|publisher= Hodder & Stoughton.|location= London|isbn= 978-0340936153
*cite book |title= Russell Brand|last= Carey|first= Tanith|year= 2007|publisher=
Michael O'Mara Books|location= London|isbn= 978-1843172406
*cite book |title= Russell Brand: Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know|last= Stone|first= Dave|year= 2007|publisher=
John Blake Publishing|location= London|isbn= 978-1844543960
* [http://www.russellbrand.tv/ Russell Brand's website]
*imdb name|id=1258970|name=Russell Brand
* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio2/shows/brand/ Russell Brand's BBC Radio 2 show homepage]
* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/russellbrand/ Russell Brand's BBC Radio 2 Blog]
* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/6music/shows/russell_brand/ Russell Brand's BBC 6 Music show homepage]
* [http://www.focus12.co.uk/ Focus 12 Charity]
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