Not banned, just late

Why Russell Brand REALLY cancelled Canada gig

When Russell Brand Tweeted: ‘Let me in! I can't enter Canada’ on his way to a gig this weekend, it seemed his run-ins with the law had again caused problems at immigration.

However, it has now emerged that he never even left California.

Nor is he barred from entering Canada.

A government spokesman said the Border Services Agency had no problem with Brand, adding: ‘Apparently he had plane problems and was making a joke’.’

Casino Rama in Orillia, Ontario, which had to cancel Brand’s show on Saturday, confirmed that he wasn't turned away at the border, and was held up in California.

At lunchtime on the day of the gig, Brand tweeted: ‘HELP! I'm gonna be late for Casino Rama show unless someone can force Canadian customs officials to let us land in Orillia!

A couple of hours later, he added: ‘Let me in! I must perform at Casino Rama, Orillia tonight at 9 for 5000 Canadians!’

Then finally: ‘Tonight's Casino Rama show postponed. I'm sorry. I can't enter Canada. We must abolish the borders between our nations AND our minds.’

It appears Brand had technical problems with the plane taking him to the gig, so was running behind schedule.

And because Orilla is not an international airport, there are no customs or immigration facilities – so Brand would have had to enter the country via Toronto, almost two hours’ drive away.

Jenna Hunter, spokesperson for Casino Rama, told The Canadian Press: ‘I think he's trying to be witty about the whole thing, but it really was just a plane issue, it wasn't a customs issue at all.’

Published: 3 Oct 2011

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