Russell Brand

Russell Brand

Date of birth: 04-06-1975

Born in Grays, Essex, to Barbara and Ron, Russell Brand was brought up by his mother. He made his theatrical debut aged 15 in a school production of Bugsy Malone, before going to the Italia Conti stage school and then the Drama Centre in Camden where, at night, he began performing stand-up.

He reached the final of the Hackney Empire New Act Of The Year competition in 2000, and soon after landed two MTV series, Dance Floor Chart and Select. However he became addicted to heroin, which affected his work. and was fired after coming to work dressed as Osama Bin Laden immediately after the September 11, 2001 attacks.

In 2002, he fronted the provocative Re:Brand, on UK Play in which he masturbated a gay man and challenged his own father to a boxing match to settle old schools. That year he also appeared in theSteve Coogan vehicle Cruise of the Gods – though he was thrown off the set for bad behaviour and his agent, John Noel, forced him into rehab.

In summer 2004, Brand was given a second chance, hosting E4’s live Big Brother discussion series Efourum. The gamble paid of for Channel 4, and Brand was on the road to becoming an international star.

The only blip on his rise came in October 2008 when, on a radio show with Jonathan Ross, Brand left filthy messages on the answerphone of Andrew Sachs, which caused huge controversy for he BBC.

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Russell Brand's up for debate

Comic tries out new TV format

Russell Brand is working on a new TV show in which he will debate issues with members of the public.

The comedian is staging a run-through of the possible programme in an intimate theatre in London next month, and is seeking audience members who ‘are not afraid to share their views and join in the debate’.

Brand is set to probe personal issues such as  ‘sex and relationships, drinking and self loathing’ in the show.

The comic recently published his book Recovery: Freedom From Our Addictions, which has become a bestseller.

Debates were a major part of his US TV show, Brand X, which aired on FX in 2012 and 2013 – including a notorious discussion in which he tried to shut down the hate-filled bigots of the Westboro Baptist Church with love.

He will run through his new project, tentatively titled The Russell Brand TV Show, at the 150-seat Canada Water Theatre in London next Monday.

It is not yet known whether any broadcaster is attached.

Tickets are available here.

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Published: 30 Oct 2017

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