Controversial, flamboyant comedian Russell Brand is to return to his first love — stand-up comedy — with an appearance at the Waterfront Hall in Belfast early next year.
The bohemian-style comic is to take a break from acting, television and radio to embark on a tour of the UK in 2009.
It will be a triumphant return to the UK for Brand, who has wowed American audiences with an acclaimed movie debut and a host of sold-out stand-up dates. He also recently hosted this year’s MTV Video Music Awards, during which he made contentious comments about the US President George Bush.
It’s been a whirlwind 12 months for the former drug addict and self-confessed lothario. As well as appearing in British movies Penelope and St Trinians, he drew widespread acclaim for his role in Judd Apatow’s Forgetting Sarah Marshall. He has also just completed filming Bedtime Stories with Adam Sandler and has been cast in Apatow’s next feature, filming in early 2009.
His stand-up shows have been taking North America by storm. An appearance at Montreal’s world-renowned comedy festival followed sell-out dates at New York’s Grammercy Theatre and Los Angeles’ Roxy. His autobiography My Booky Wook topped the UK best-seller list and sold over 600,000 hardback copies, going on to win a prestigious Nibby at the British Book Awards.
Brand is also well-known in the Uk for being a presenter, having hosted Channel 4’s Big Brother’s Big Mouth, the 2006 NME Awards and the 2007 BRIT Awards. He also presented at the UK leg of Live earth at Wembley Stadium in London last year. His Radio 2 show on Saturdays has over two million listeners.
Brand’s career has been controversial. He was fired from Xfm after reading out pornographic material live on air and was also sacked from MTV after coming to work dressed as Osama Bin Laden the day after the September 11 attacks in 2001.
Brand has won a number of awards including Time Out’s Best Stand-Up in 2006, Best Newcomer at the British Comedy Awards in 2006 and the Broadcasting Press Guild’s Best Television Performer in a Non-Acting Role. Tickets to see Brand at the Waterfront Hall on Saturday, January 24 as part of the Waterfront’s Comedy Club are priced £24.50 and are available from this Friday, September 26 at 9am.
Meanwhile the Grand Opera House is to host a new Friday night comedy club, Festive Funnies, for four weeks, running from November 28 to December 19, featuring top international comedians and local acts.