Russell Brand takes centre stage in Hackney

supplied pic

A NEW HAZARD has emerged in Hackney: celebrity surprise or, to be specific, Russell re-Branding.

The fast-talking, revolution-urging writer-comedian-actor has been turning up without warning at public events and inevitably becoming the centre of attraction.

The latest sleb surprise was at a ceremony to celebrate the decoration of a shelter on Hackney Downs.

Unbeknown to Hackney council, which had assigned Jonathan McShane, a cabinet member (yes, like 10 Downing Street, local authorities now have cabinets) to unveil the artwork, the Hollywood star had other ideas – and the council had to issue a statement after the ceremony that said the work was instead “unveiled by comedian Russell Brand”.

In the council’s photograph of the Hackney mosaic project, above, the pop polemicist appears in the centre. The sidelined McShane is the smart blue suit on Brand’s right. You can see a video of the actor-campaigner’s under-informed speech here.

For the Hackney mosaic project, artist Tessa Hunkin taught local people, and drug victims who are being helped by charity Lifeline, to make mosaics of animals and trees on the walls of the shelter.

The volunteers have been placing thousands of tiny mosaic tiles on the walls during regular learning sessions that started in January 2014.

Brand is a reformed addict and is determined to help other victims of drugs.

Jean Pender of Lifeline in Hackney told Loving Dalston: “Often drug users are seen as just a burden on the community.

“This demonstrates that they have creative ability and can give something back.”

The day after the ceremony Brand turned up at a protest against rent rises on the New Era Estate in Shoreditch, part of the Benyon Estate owned by wealthy MP Richard Benyon and brother Edward and a US property company.

Where in Hackney will the activist pop up next?

MPs Diane Abbott and David Lammy would like to know. Otherwise they, too, could be upstaged by the charismatic lover of words and women.

Like them, he is said to be thinking of having a pop at replacing Boris “the bike ”Johnson as Mayor of London.

David Altheer 091114

* Backstory: Hackney Mayor lashes out at Peabody

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One thought on “Russell Brand takes centre stage in Hackney

  1. I believe Brand has a new book out. Call me a cynic, but has anyone seen him at other local community events throughout the years, ie, when he hasn’t got a new book out? Or am I just being a cynic?

    When I was still a fairly young journalist (alright, middle-aged), a fellow hack once said to me: “Davy, if you’re not cynical by now, you’ve not been paying attention.” – Ed.

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