Arab Today, arab today russell brand in talks with bbc about first new tv outing
Last Updated : GMT 06:51:55
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Russell Brand in talks with BBC about first new TV outing

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Russell Brand in talks with BBC about first new TV outing

London - Arabstoday

Russell Brand is in talks with the BBC about presenting his first TV programme, a film about addiction, for the broadcaster since being forced out over a prank phone calls row in 2008. The comedian – eager, it would appear, to mend fences after the scandal – has said he would waive any fee to forestall criticism of the proposed BBC3 programme. Discussions are continuing, as the corporation weighs the sensitivities, but it is thought the film will explore the issue of addiction in a similar way to how Stephen Fry tackled depression for BBC2 in 2006. Last year, after the death of his friend and fellow addict Amy Winehouse, Brand paid tribute to her, saying they "shared an affliction, the disease of addiction". Brand left the BBC in 2008 following a row over a prank phone call he and Jonathan Ross made to the actor Andrew Sachs about Sachs's granddaughter. Since then Brand has gone on to appear in a number of Hollywood films. He has returned to broadcasting in the UK – in 2009 he co-hosted a sports show with Noel Gallagher on TalkSport, and in 2010 appeared as a guest on Dermot O'Leary's BBC Radio 2 show – but has not fronted a TV programme since leaving. His only recent appearance on BBC screens has been in BBC4 reruns of his BBC2 documentary, On the Road. A BBC spokesman said: "We are working with Russell on a programme about addiction in the UK but it's currently only in its early stages." Brand, who has spent time in rehab, has often called for addicts to be treated as "sick people in need of care". He also said: "We need to review the way society treats addicts … we need to look at the way our government funds rehabilitation. It is cheaper to rehabilitate an addict than to send them to prison, so criminalisation doesn't even make economic sense." The BBC is also in talks about airing a charity concert planned by Winehouse's family and Comic Relief, at which a number of star names are likely to perform. It is expected that some of the money raised by the concert will go to charities that help addicts and tackle addiction. Last year the Amy Winehouse Foundation was set up in the singer's memory to help young people suffering with ill health, disability, financial woes or addiction. Winehouse died in July 2011 from alcohol poisoning after a drinking binge following a period of abstinence during which she was trying to conquer her problems with alcohol. A Comic Relief spokesman said: "There are no confirmed plans at the moment."  

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