Russell Brand joins Henry Kissinger and Hilary Mantel on world's great thinkers award shortlist

Previous winners include Richard Dawkins

Heather Saul
Saturday 21 February 2015 14:50 GMT

Russell Brand has found himself on the same list as Henry Kissinger and Hilary Mantel after Prospect Magazine shortlisted all three as among the world’s top thinkers.

Brand, a famous advocate of not voting, is one of 50 people nominated for the World Thinkers 2015 award, which was awarded to Indian intellect Amartya Sen in 2014.

In a bizarre turn of events, the comedian-turned-activist is now in the company of economists, biologists, philosophers and theoretical physicists.

Previous recipients include Richard Dawkins, who beat four nobel prize winners to claim the top spot.

However, Prospect Magazine's managing editor Jonathan Derbyshire admitted to the Evening Standard that his nomination was the cause of “one of the more lengthy and intense discussions” among contributing staff.

Mr Derbyshire explained Brand’s presence in the list was due to his position as “the spiritual leader of Britain’s disaffected anti-capitalist youth”.

Although “dismissed by his opponents as a clownish opportunist and even a hypocrite due to his own wealth, he is nevertheless the most charismatic figure on Britain’s populist Left”, he added.

Brand became an anti-establishment figurehead after telling Jeremy Paxman he wanted a revolution during a now famous episode of Newsnight.

His now pivotal interview was followed by a year spent appearing in anti-government protests, handing petitions into Downing Street, campaigning against cuts and corruption and arguing with Ukip on Question Time.

In October, Brand set out his terms for political and social reform in his aptly titled book, Revolution.

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