8 NOVEMBER 2008, Page 29

Don’t brand Brand

Sir: Rod Liddle is quite within his rights to argue that he doesn’t find Russell Brand funny (‘The real lesson is: the public don’t like Jonathan Ross or Russell Brand’, 1 November). But to argue he is not popular is absurd. His Radio 2 show has been top of the iTunes download chart for several months. His autobiography has sold 600,000 copies. His stand-up tours sell out, and have won him awards for best stand-up from Time Out and the British Comedy Awards, and a place in Channel 4’s list of the greatest ever stand-ups.

I and plenty of my friends adore the radio show — an amazing two-hour weekly tour de force of comic improvisation, like listening to Eddie Izzard or Lenny Bruce at the height of their powers. He is the funniest person in Britain at the moment, though perhaps we’ve now succeeded in packing him off to America.

Anyone who actually listens to the radio show (as Liddle obviously doesn’t) would know that Russell Brand is also a very kind-hearted and likeable person, and not a ‘sadistic torturer of the elderly’, as another of your regular contributors, Charles Moore, put it with his customary bluster on the Today show. What we are seeing now is a witch-hunt led by the worst elements of the British media which, for some reason (envy?), Liddle has decided to join.

Face it, Rod, you’re not as big as him because you’re not as talented.

Julian Evans

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