Russell Brand's powerhouse performance with Paxman on Newsnight

Posted Oct 24, 2013 by Mathew Wace Peck
Russell Brand gave an incredible powerhouse performance last night, during an eleven-minute interview with Jeremy Paxman on the BBC's flagship news programme.
Russell Brand
Russell Brand
Eva Rinaldi
Brand was being interviewed by Paxman on Newsnight, to discuss the actor-cum-comedian's stint as guest editor of the New Statesman.
The interview lasted for almost eleven minutes (10 minutes and 46 seconds, to be precise) and was summed up by Digital Spy as, "incredible [...] television [Brand going] head-to-head with Jeremy Paxman, managing to squeeze together a revolution rally cry, bemoan West Ham's recent form and discuss Paxman's beard in a breathless performance".
The performance needs to be watched to be believed, and appears at the top of this story.
Brand's final assault came when he referenced Paxman's appearance on the BBC show, Who Do You Think You Are?, the popular British genealogy documentary series that, for each instalment, takes a well-known person from popular culture on a journey to trace her/his family tree.
Paxman – who once considered himself a republican but is now a royalist, having since become something of a born-again supporter of the British royal family – appeared on the show back in 2006.
Of Paxman's Who Do You Think You Are?, Brand said:
I remember I see you in that programme where you look at your ancestors. You saw that your grandmother got f**ked over by the aristocrats who ran her gaffe. You cried because you knew that it was unfair and unjust. And that was a century ago. That still happens now. I've just come from a woman who is being treated like that.
If we can engage that feeling, instead of some moment of sentimentality trotted out on the TV for people to pore over, emotional porn, if we can engage that feeling and change things, why wouldn't we? Why is that naive? Why isn't that my right, because I'm an actor? I've taken that right, I don't need the right from you, I don't need the right from anybody, I'm taking it.
Brand has always been a little controversial and regarded by many as something of a bête noire.
In June, Anne Sewell reported for Digital Journal on an interview Brand gave to MSNBC's Morning Joe, in which he put over the argument that "mass media was an operation in changing information 'so it suits a particular agenda' and that viewers were being manipulated", much to the embarrassment of the show's presenters.
In September, as reported by Alex Allen on Digital Journal, the 38-year-old criticised the relationships between governments and media outlets and big businesses.