Russell Brand’s fight against drug addiction has been well documented, but for many the fight is a secret one. In his own inimitable style, Brand is taking to the stage for Comic Relief to raise money to support and raise awareness of people in the UK affected and suffering from drug addiction. A subject close to his heart, the comedian, actor and presenter has struggled with his own personal demons – addictions to heroin, alcohol and sex.
Far from glamourising drug use, Brand has told frankly of his addictions in his best-selling books. Sacked from MTV for dressing as Osama Bin Laden the day after 9/11 and bringing his drug dealer to work, at times he has risked, and came to close to destroying his career. Having been clean from drugs since 2003, he is living proof that addictions can be conquered and has gone on to enjoy a stellar career both in the UK and Hollywood. His reputation as somewhat of a “Ladies Man,” may have been quelled with his marriage to singer Katy Perry but it lasted just over a year. It was rumoured that Perry’s refusal to give up her “party” lifestyle was a major factor. Recovering addicts often find it difficult to be around temptation and Brand may have found it difficult to keep on the straight and narrow without more support from his wife.
Brand was lucky to have close friends who stepped in to help when the star seemed to be crashing fast. Many people don’t have that support, and Comic Relief are raising money to help help those organisations and charities that are there to help people suffering from addictions.
Addiction is often very much a “secret” condition, where high functioning individuals hide their addiction from friends, family and colleagues. Addicts don’t necessarily lose their livelihoods , homes or marriages . Believing that if they can keep order in the rest of their lives means that many down play their addiction, much to the detriment of their own being.
The fundraising extravaganza features a whole host of stars, some of whom are no stranger to the disease that is addiction. Funny man Frankie Boyle has overcome alcohol and drug addiction as documented in his very funny book “My Shit Life So Far.” Noel Gallagher and Noel Fielding have also both spoken out about their own personal demons with drugs.
Joining them on the bill is Jessie J who is a keen anti-drugs campaigner, and is very vocal about the dangers, frequently discussing them in interviews.
Also bringing laughs to the proceedings are comedians Doc Brown, Jimmy Carr, Eddie Izzard, Simon Amstell and Jason Manford. Music also come from Jake Bugg, Paloma Faith, Rizzle Kicks, Emelie Sande, and Nicole Scherzinger.
Comic Relief has gone from strength to strength since its inception in 1988. The coming together of some of the world’s funniest comedians to raise money for good causes has always struck a chord in the hearts (and wallets) of the Great British public. Comic has raised over £600 million in the last 25 years.