Radio 4 listeners have reportedly been angered by the BBC's "shameless" promotion of Russell Brand's new book.
The controversial comedian, who has been made headlines recently for his anti-establishment beliefs, appeared on Newsnight earlier this month, during which he admitted to remaining "open-minded" about 9/11 conspiracy theories.
Just days later, Brand was invited to discuss his latest political release, Revolution, on Radio 4's Start The Week, prompting complaints by those who do not believe he deserves so much airtime.
"[Brand's] latest foray into 'serious politics' is only the latest in a long line of self-serving populist roles where he gets to practise long words in order to sound like a working class hero," one listener said, according to The Times, branding his contribution "abysmal and embarrassing".
Why do the BBC give so much airtime to the vacuous, narcissistic drivel of Russell Brand?— James Cleverly (@JamesCleverly) October 24, 2014
BBC - Allowed Russell Brand on News Night and devalued that prog. Then let him on 2nd time. Now on R4 Start the Week. Pathetic.— Michael Jecks (@MichaelJecks) October 29, 2014
Other listeners were concerned by how easily Brand was able to talk across other guests on Start the Week, with some criticising his descriptions of leading politicians.
"When people are coating me off for saying 'don't vote', they always forget what I actually said," Brand argued.
"I don't see who I am supposed to vote for: Ed Miliband, Clegg, that racist geezer, Cameron – the sort-of-like marginally less racist.
"They all come from the same schools, they all come from the same background. If these people are out leaders, if Parliamentary democracy is going to be something that engages us ordinary people then it has to represent us."
Russell Brand's Most Controversial Quips
Russell Brand's Most Controversial Quips
1/19 On puberty:
“By puberty I learned that nothing worth having could be easily attained and to succeed one must be single minded."
2/19 On changing the world:
“I want to change the world, and do something valuable and beautiful. I want people to remember me before I'm dead, and then more afterwards.”
3/19 On being strong:
"Strength does not have to be belligerent and loud."
4/19 On grammar:
“I couldn't possibly have sex with someone with such a slender grasp on grammar!”
5/19 On manners in England:
"In England we have such good manners that if someone says something impolite, the police will get involved."
6/19 On junkie v vegetarian:
“Even as a junkie I stayed true [to vegetarianism] - 'I shall have heroin, but I shan't have a hamburger.' What a sexy little paradox.”
7/19 On the future:
“People don't realize that the future is just now, but later.”
8/19 On sex addiction:
“Boggle with sex addicts is up there with go-kart racing with junkies.”
9/19 On life:
“My life is just a series of embarrassing incidents strung together by telling people about those embarrassing incidents.”
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
10/19 On happiness:
"If you want to be happy stop being so self-obsessed and start considering other people."
11/19 On drug addiction:
“The mentality and behavior of drug addicts and alcoholics is wholly irrational until you understand that they are completely powerless over their addiction and unless they have structured help, they have no hope.”
12/19 On sitcoms:
"I do have a regard for the musicality of language that came from BBC sitcoms like Fawlty Towers."
13/19 On life motivation:
"That's what keeps me alive, perversion and star quality.”
14/19 On love:
“When you fall in love you recognise you're not the most important person in the world, and your focus becomes another person.”
15/19 On threesomes:
“I like threesomes with two women, not because I'm a cynical sexual predator. Oh no! But because I'm a romantic. I'm looking for "The One." And I'll find her more quickly if I audition two at a time.”
16/19 On Conservatives:
"Conservatism appeals to our selfishness and fear, our designer and self-interest."
17/19 On surfing:
“Surfing should be called "foam-choking" or "sea stabbing.”
18/19 On Demi Moore:
"I've not made love to her yet, but it's a matter of time."
STEVE MORGAN/AFP/Getty Images
19/19 On success:
"When I was growing up, I thought I'd be a lot happier if I was famous and successful and if I had money."
But Rebecca Stratford, programme editor, defended the decision to give Brand a platform because Revolution is "being discussed everywhere at the moment". "He does seem to have the ear of a certain generation," she said.
A BBC spokesperson added that the broadcaster is "always careful not to give undue prominence to individuals or organisations".
"Brand is a high profile voice in a debate about the relationship between politicians and the public that various programmes are examining, and these interviews give an opportunity to test those views," they said.
Brand quit the BBC six years ago after a Radio 2 scandal saw him and Jonathan Ross leave an obscene and offensive voicemail message for 83-year-old Fawlty Towers actor Andrew Sachs.
Recent reports have suggested that Brand is considering running for Mayor of London, but he has dismissed these as false.
"I think we've already got a comedian who's more known for his hair than his policies,"he told XFM presenter Jon Holmes last week.Reuse content