Belfast Telegraph

'Volatile' Brand explains outburst

Russell Brand has described himself as a "volatile person" after he lost his cool with a journalist in Downing Street.

The celebrity activist became agitated when Channel 4 News reporter Paraic O'Brien asked him much he pays to rent his east London home during a protest over the cost of housing.

Russell, 39, pointed his finger in the journalist's face and called him "a snide".

Paraic suggested that the housing problem was being exacerbated by the super-rich buying property in the capital.

Russell later discussed the interview on his YouTube news channel, likening it to a "quarrel at a jumble sale".

The comic and actor said: "I shouldn't be allowed on television. I'm so easily wound up. What does it matter to me, what have I got to lose, just from this one bloke?

"But I'm a volatile person."

He went on: "When you talk to a journalist I sort of think it's a combination of boring and really annoying, and my personality type is not well suited to that kind of environment."

During the interview, Russell told the reporter: "I'm not interested in talking to you about my rent, mate. I'm here to support a very important campaign."

When asked about the value of his home, he went on: "It's rented. We don't know the value, you would have to talk to my landlord.

"Blessedly, I can afford my rent and I'm prepared to stand up for people that can't."

Cutting the interview short, he added: "Snides like you, mate, undermine (the campaign). You're a snide. All right, let's do one."

Paraic wrote on Twitter: "Is it my job to test tension between private circumstances and publicly-held views of celebrities? Yes."

Hundreds of residents and supporters of the New Era estate in Hoxton, east London, took part in the protest over fears that a takeover by US investment firm Westbrook could lead to a massive hike in rents.

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