Russell Brand (born 4.6.1975)
Russell Brand is an English comedian, as well as a television and radio presenter.
Russell Brand: Childhood
Russell Brand is an only child, born to Barbara and Ronald Brand, in Grays, Essex. Russell's parents separated when he was six months old.
At school, Brand's first acting performance was as 'Fat Sam' in Bugsy Malone, when he was 15. His theatre performances led to a scholarship at the Italia Conti Academy, a renowned acting school. He also earned a three-year scholarship at the Drama Centre, in Chalk Farm, London.
Russell Brand: Comedy Career
In 2000, Brand performed at the final of the New Act of the Year, at the Hackney Empire. He attracted the attention of agent John Noel and his first major stand up tour, Shame, was a major success.
In November 2006, Brand organized a secret stand up show for people in his MySpace network.
Brand has been involved in a number of high-profile collaborations, including a Comic Relief sketch with Matt Lucas and David Walliams' Little Britain characters, in which he plays a cross-dressing plumber. In 2007, Brand performed at a charity show alongside Noel Fielding of The Mighty Boosh, which centered around their 'Goth Detectives' characters.
In July 2008, Brand courted controversy when he made a hoax phone call to the police whilst onstage in Northampton, claiming to have spotted a man that had carried out a series of serious assaults.
Russell Brand: TV Presenting
Brand's first presenting job was working as a VJ (video jockey) on MTV. He presented Dance Floor Chart as well as working on MTV Select.
On September 12th, 2001, the day after the New York terrorist attacks, Brand turned up to work at MTV dressed as Osama Bin laden. He was promptly fired.
Following this hasty departure, Brand filmed RE:Brand, a documentary focusing on cultural taboos. Brand wrote the documentary with the help of his writing partner, Matt Morgan.
Brand returned to MTV in 2006, hosting 1 Leicester Square, a chat show that featured guests such as Tom Cruise, Uma Thurman and Boy George.
In 2004, Brand was selected to host Big Brother's Eforum, a partner show to Big Brother 5. He carried on these presenting duties for Big Brother 6 and7, when the show's name was changed to Big Brother's Big Mouth. Russell was also one of the celebrities to take over the Big Brother role on 2008's Big Brother: Celebrity Hijack. He continued working for E4 on Russell Brand's Got Issues, but the viewing figures were disappointing. In 2006, Brand hosted his own chat show, the Russell Brand Show, on Channel 4. The show ran for five weeks. Returning to Channel 4, Brand hosted Russell Brand's Ponderland, in which he discussed a variety of topics via his stand-up comedy.
In 2006, Russell Brand hosted the NME Awards. He was insulted by Bob Geldof and was quick to retaliate.
The BBC broadcast a documentary in 2007 entitled Russell Brand On the Road, in which he and Matt Morgan traveled across the USA and explored the classic jack Kerouac novel, On the Road.
In 2008, Brand hosted the MTV Video Music Awards, launching Britney Spears' comeback. Again, he courted controversy by insulting George W. Bush and mocking the Jonas Brothers for their 'virginity rings'.
Russell Brand: Radio Presenting
In 2002, Brand and Morgan hosted a Sunday afternoon show on London's Xfm. Russell was fired from the job when he read pornographic material live on air. The Russell Brand Show started out on BBC 6Music in April 2006 and moved to Radio 2 seven months later, with a regular listener base of around 2 million.
Russell Brand: Acting Career
In 1994, Russell Brand made his first serious TV appearance in The Bill.
In 2007, Brand appeared in his first major film role, playing Flash Harry in St. Trinian's. In 2008, he earned his first lead role, in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, gaining good reviews for his performance.
Russell Brand: Writing
My Booky Wooky, Brand's autobiography was released in 2007. It was notable for his honest depiction of life as a heroin addict.