I’m never quite sure how much of a fan I am of that man Russell Brand. Sometimes he amuses me and sometimes he seems witty. I rather liked one of his early attempts at a form of journalism when in 2002 he interviewed Mark Collet of the Youth BNP. You can see the interviews on YouTube (parts one, two and three).
|Russell Brand with the New Statesman|
Russell Brand’s latest project sees a return to politics as the guest editor on the ‘Revolution’ edition of the New Statesman this week.
As I said, I’m never quite sure how much of a fan I am of Russell Brand. I’m naturally cautious of anyone who might be considered a loose cannon, not least because I might be at risk of being one myself. I’m always a little wary of those who struggle with control and discipline as Russell Brand freely admits he has, and yet he clearly has the discipline to remain drug free, and he clearly has the discipline to work long and hard at his career. He might not always have been in control of his baser instincts, but he’s very obviously sharp of wit, clean of conscience and deeply caring of certain things.
What's more no one in his right mind takes on Jeremy Paxman lightly, and Russell Brand does it with a degree of confidence that is almost disarming.
Russell Brand is a comedian. On the surface, he isn’t necessarily the sort of man that one might think of taking seriously, and yet, in his interview for Newsnight to discuss his role as guest editor for the paper, Jeremy Paxman did take him seriously.
Russell Brand might be an ex-junkie; he freely admits it. He might wear ridiculous trousers and his hair could probably do with some attention. I don’t really want to see acres of his exposed chest, his choice of shoes generally doesn’t impress me much and his giddy, childlike behaviour invariably puts me off watching him on the television. That's all about image though, and we might just be damned if we judge this book by its cover.
It turns out, as many of us have half-expected at various points along the way, that Russell Brand is nobody’s fool. He knows what he thinks and he knows how to express his thoughts in a considered and cogent manner. There were no kneejerk reactions from him, there was no bluster and there was no dissembling.
Russell Brand would not be baited by Jeremy Paxman and he would not be intimidated by him.
On the other hand, he more-or-less failed to answer Paxman’s questions, too.
Russell Brand doesn’t claim to be a politician. In fact, Mr Brand claims to despise all politicians as entitled, duplicitous busybodies, and perhaps he’s right, because most of us have thought something similar at one time or another.
I was impressed by the interview and by how these two men sparred throughout their ten minutes together.
Take a look for yourself; if nothing else, this is a wonderful performance from both men.