The sight of Russell Brand descending, petition in hand, onto Downing Street to give No.10 a piece of his mind over social housing was no doubt met with cheers (from protesters) and groans (from everyone else) yesterday afternoon.
The comedian marched arm-in-arm with residents of Hackney’s New Era estate to demonstrate against US property owner Westbrook, currently threatening 93 families with eviction.
He also stopped off to have a chat with a Channel 4 news presenter. A chat which quickly slid into finger-jabbing rant territory when the subject of how much the millionaire actor’s house actually costs him came up live on TV:
The interviewer suggested that part of the reason why housing prices were rising beyond the affordable level in London was that the super-rich were buying up all the property in central areas for extortionate amounts. He then asked: “How much did you pay for your place?”
“It’s rented,” Brand retorted. “I’m not here to talk about my rent, mate.”
An angry verbal joust ensued, before a protesting woman was thrust into shot to shout: “At least Russell Brand is standing up regardless of how big his house is… David Cameron isn’t prepared to come out of his big house and help us, but Russell Brand has.”
“Snides like you undermine it,” Brand ended his performance, pointing at the reporter.
“You’re a snide.”
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."
The petition in Brand’s no doubt clammy palm was signed by by 294,000. Around 400 people took part in the protest.
Rent on the Hoxton estate will apparently shoot up from £650 to £2,000 after the development.
However, Westbrook apparently hand-delivered letters to all the tenants on Sunday promising not to increase rent until December 2015.
“There will be no changes to the tenancy agreements and no increase in rents during the first half of 2015,” the letter issued to the tenants reads.
“To help us work with you more closely we will also be appointing a dedicated tenant liaison officer… We understand the accusations about us and our plans have caused concern and distress amongst tenants, so we hope that these commitments provide some further reassurance.”Reuse content