While Katy Perry is busy recruiting young girls to join the US armed forces, ex-Russell Brand is also planning to make a statement. He is in talks with BBC to present a documentary on addiction.
The comedian has been outspoken about his struggle with addiction and consequent road to recovery, but the press really picked up on Brand’s past after rumors began of Katy’s refusal to tone down her party-girl lifestyle–which was said to contribute to the couple’s break-up.
That break-up is old news, however, and Brand seems set on starting fresh and making amends in a couple of ways. To front the proposed documentary, according to the Guardian, Brand has said he would waive any fees to participate.
The actor, comedian, and TV host fell out with BBC in 2008, reported at the time by the Guardian, after he and fellow comedian Jonathan Ross pulled a prank that went too far. During Brand’s BBC radio program, the pair teased that Brand had sex with the granddaughter of a highly regarded British comedian, Andrew Sachs, of a long-running hit show, Fawlty Towers.
Public offense, not to mention BBC’s not-too-giddy response, was immediate. Russell Brand and Ross both apologized, and Brand resigned. BBC suspended the two, regardless of their apologies.
As fate would have it, Russell, who said he had work plans in LA, went on to not only marry Perry in 2010 but also make somewhat of a splash in Hollywood.
If he returns to do their documentary on addiction, it will be the first time he leads a BBC program since the fallout.
He may also have the chance to fulfill another motive: A tribute to Russell’s friend, Amy Winehouse. When Winehouse died last year, Russell said they “shared an affliction, the disease of addiction.”
Winehouse died in July of 2011 of alcohol poisoning, after she had made attempts and failed at rehabilitation.
Brand has stated, “We need to review the way society treats addicts.”
BBC has confirmed the early talks with Brand. A spokesman commented, “We are working with Russell on a program about addiction in the UK, but it’s currently only in its early stages.”
It is also said there may be a concert and Comic Relief special on BBC, to benefit the Amy Winehouse Foundation, a charity set up by Amy’s family to honor her memory and help others suffering with addiction.
He’s certainly earned his stripes during the time since he got snared and entangled in Hollywood. Here’s hoping the best for Brand’s return to his roots and continued recovery.
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, taken by Eva Rinaldi.