Russell Edward Brand (born 4 June 1975) is an English comedian, actor, columnist and presenter of radio and television. From 2004 until 2007, Russell Brand was the presenter of Big Brother's Big Mouth.
Russell Brand was born in Grays, Essex, England, the only child of Barbara Elizabeth (née Nichols) and Ronald Henry Brand, a photographer. His parents separated when he was just six months old. He was raised by his mother who had survived three bouts of cancer by the time he was 17. He has been a vegetarian since the age of 14. After playing the role of Fat Sam in a school production of Bugsy Malone, Brand decided he wanted to have a career in acting. He was accepted to the Italia Conti Acadamy, but was expelled in his introductory year for his behaviour, marijuana smoking and taking of LSD. He also suffered from bulimia at that time. In 1995, after some small acting parts, he was accepted into the Drama Centre London. By this point he was a heroin addict and an alcoholic. He was expelled in the final term of his last year for smashing a glass over his head and then stabbing himself in the chest and arms because of poor reactions to one of his performances. Brand has admitted that he is a former heroin and sex addict and is a recovering alcoholic, regularly attending AA and NA meetings.
Brand's first significant stand-up appearance was at the Hackney Empire New Act of the Year final in 2000, where he came fourth and attracted the attention of agent, Nigel Klarfeld. He then made appearances on the 2006 Secret Policeman's Ball and the 2007 Royal Variety Performance.
Aside from many comedy sketches and stand up appearances, Brand has been seen and heard presenting numerous television and radio shows. His first presenting job came as a video journalist on MTV in 2000 before being fired for dressing to work as Osama Bin Laden the day after 9/11 and for bringing his drug dealer to the studios. In 2004 Brand reached mainstream fame in Britain for his outrageous presenting on Big Brother's Big Mouth. He presented the Big Brother sister show on E4 for 3 years before choosing not to return for the eighth series of Big Brother. On the show he was well known for telling stories about his "ball bags". In 2006 he presented the chat show 1 Leicester Square. He also presented the 2006 NME awards, 2007 Brit Awards, 2008 MTV Video Music Awards and will be presenting the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards. Additionally he has had numerous other presenting jobs on shows, mainly on Channel 4 and E4.
Brand has also been seen in major film roles in St. Trinians and Forgetting Sarah Marshall. He has become known for his columns in The Guardian newspaper and has written an autobiography, titled My Booky Wooky. The book was published on the 15th of November 2007.
Despite a successful career in radio, Brand hit the headlines alongside fellow Radio 2 DJ Jonathon Ross when the pair made a series of prank calls to actor, Andrew Sachs, discussed Brand's sexual relationship with Sach's granddaughter. Brand resigned and Ross was suspended from the station. BBC was then fined £150,000 for airing the radio show.