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Men Of The Year: Russell Brand

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Predicting a revolt, riling Jeremy Paxman. Another quiet year, then…

On why the UK must be more politically engaged…

“I suppose I want activism to be more visible and relevant. I’ve always been obsessed with the truculent aspect of activism; the argy-bargy. I used to go to protests a lot, even when I was taking drugs. I’d get caught up in the festivity of it all. It was all a lot of dashing around and silliness and getting right up the front and pushing into them [police] shields.”

On his most memorable political protest…

“I was at that protest in 2000 when [the statue of] Winston Churchill got a [turf] Mohican. I was there, like Zelig for a day, and I watched. I remember thinking, ‘That looks good.’ It was very iconic, a good piece of visual language. Then we went down Whitehall and they smashed in that McDonald’s, and then we got kettled into Trafalgar Square. That bit was really boring and I needed a wee.”

On the chances of him ‘doing an Eddie Izzard’, making the transition from comedian to politician…

“I don’t know about that. I am certainly starting to take myself very seriously. But I am also a comedian, so I’ve got to watch that. And I don’t agree with politics, really. It’s a load of old bumpf.”

And finally, on the weirdest rumour he’s heard about himself…

“That I held up an Underground train with a Saracen sword. I was taking taxis at the time, so I wouldn’t have been on the Underground anyway. Also, I don’t own a Saracen sword. And, I don’t have an agenda that would require me to hold up an Underground train with a Saracen sword. ‘Stop reading the Metro! Let’s start smoking again!’”

(Image: Rex)

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