Russell Brand has been voted the world’s fourth most important thinker, in a list compiled by intellectual magazine Prospect. The comedian managed to beat a Nobel prize winner to top the publication’s annual list, which was voted for by readers.

Russell BrandRussell Brand was placed fourth in Prospect's list

The list was topped by leading economist Thomas Piketty, whose book Capital In The Twentieth Century became a surprise best seller after it was released in 2013. Yanis Varoufakis the Greek finance minister came in second place, while Canadian author and activist Naomi Klein came in third.

Speaking about Brand’s inclusion in the list, Prospect’s editor, Bronwen Maddox, said: “This was voted for entirely by readers and does not represent Prospect’s views. Russell Brand has made an important contribution to conversation and ideas over the past year. We have an initial list of 50 people for readers to vote from and, given the platform Brand has been given on the BBC and the Guardian, we felt he should be included.”

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“It is a list that is very dependent on events over the past year, so it is not surprising, with the recent release of Revolution and all the conversation around it, that Brand appears on this list. But this was very much Thomas Piketty’s race – he was well beyond all the others in terms of votes.”

Last year Brand published his book, Revolution, in which he laid out his plans for a complete social and political upheaval. Inside the book the comedian consults with a number of leading thinkers to shape his ideas, including list-topper Thomas Piketty.

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Brand has recently announced that some of the profits from the book will be going towards a cafe on the New Era estate in Hackney, where he previously helped residents fight their forced eviction by an American company.

Named the Trew Era Cafe, it will be staffed by recovering drug addicts from the area, with profits going towards funding local community projects.