Russell Brand rebuked by BBC for plugging own DVD

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The Independent Online

His on-air ramblings about heroin addiction, his use of prostitutes and his "dinkle" on daytime radio have been no bar to his rise through the BBC. But now Russell Brand has finally earned a rebuke from his bosses: for plugging his products.

The golden boy of British comedy, who was handed a coveted slot on Radio 2 just three days ago, has been given a rap on the knuckles after he urged listeners to buy his DVD.

He is the latest presenter to be reminded of editorial guidelines designed to stop broadcasters from pushing commercial products. Just days ago Radio 2's Terry Wogan was told off for mentioning his new book repeatedly and discussing the dates of his signing tour. "Advertising on this scale can't be bought," he informed his audience.

Brand made his comments in the introduction to the podcast of his BBC 6 Music programme, in which he encourages his fans to "buy the DVD". Last month he performed two nights at the Shepherds Bush Empire in London for a live DVD to be released on 20 November.

A spokeswoman for Radio 2 said: "These were jokey, off-the-cuff remarks and no specific commercial product is referred to. However, Lesley Douglas [the Radio 2 controller] has talked to Russell and his team and reminded them of BBC editorial guidelines."

Brand's show is the second most popular podcast in the UK after Ricky Gervais, according to the iTunes chart. The tousle-haired comic is a former drug addict who was sacked from a number of broadcasting jobs for his erratic behaviour, but has gone from strength to strength since he cleaned up.

Brand, who was named GQ magazine's style icon of the year recently, has become a tabloid favourite because of his sexual exploits and has been linked to international stars, although he now claims to have calmed down his womanising.

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