I’ve always wanted to dislike Russell Brand, but I can’t quite do it. That said, I don’t know what it is about him that I do like, I just know I can’t dislike him as much as many do.
Even after Sachsgate – which demonstrated a level of purile stupidity that I expected from Ross but not Brand – I still can’t wholly have an aversion to the man. I suspect it might be nothing more than the fact that he makes me laugh, and it’s hard to abhor someone who amuses you.
He’s witty, he can – one assumes, given the number of ladies he’s been involved with – be charming and he can be self-deprecating when it’s required. However, this sit down with Frank Skinner told us nothing we didn’t already know and was, to be honest, just a pi**ing contest between the two to see who could be funniest.
We heard from both several tales of how fame had gone to their heads, both the ones they keep on their necks and the other ones, and the effect that something Brand described as “oestrogen mist” had on them. Basically, they have both been offered nookie on a plate from adoring female fans and both have partaken from that bottomless trough often.
Skinner questioned the moral rectitude of doing so and seemed genuinely embarrassed that he’d taken full advantage of that particular form of hero worship, but Brand answered the relatively serious question with jokes, so it lost any depth it might have had.
There was of course lengthy discourse about the Andrew Sachs affair and Brand rather confusingly at once apologised – again – and then refuted that he’d done anything that wrong in the first place. He did however – rightly in my opinion – proffer that much of the fuss wasn’t about the incident itself but the wider issue of celebrity salaries and the BBC licence fee.
Overall, this was like Jeremy Paxman interviewing Bungle after a spliff; one didn’t expect it to be deeply serious, just somewhat informative in its endeavour, but it just didn’t have the energy to get past the giggling stage.