Dear Russell Brand
Re: Returning of Favour
You may remember living with me in Hampstead above a pub ten years ago. I was a happy go lucky, hard working, young and attractive 22 year old at the time. I was living in the ‘Queen’s Head’ or ‘Arms’ in the literal non-conjugal sense of the word with an old actor who was the landlord (Barry from Eastenders?). He had sympathies with young, male, drama students like yourself and was I believe that way inclined if you know what I mean. From what I remember there were the three of us living with ‘Barry from Eastenders’ who had a terrible temper – you, me and this other, shorter-than-you drama student who was your mate. Can’t remember his name I’m afraid but I think he had fair hair, quite short and he used to say things like ‘I’m going to dress up as a chicken every day for the rest of my life if that’s what being an actor means’. You used to wait on his every whim. I remember there was a lovely, voluptuous lady who took a shine to you (‘Oh, That Russell’s Lovely’) who used to do the Sunday roasts for £3 a time, she was into the New Age Traveller scene as it was then. She had an on-off relationship with this other guy who I also can’t remember his name, but I think he used to sell dope.
And we used to sit on each others beds and make each other laugh – do you remember? It was all very innocent and good fun. Those were the days.
And imagine my delight when a couple of months ago I realise that you have reached the Zenith of 21st century life. You are, in anyone’s books a ‘Celebrity’! I happened to tune in to ‘Big Brother’s Little Brother’ on Channel 4 (my fiancé has banned me from watching Big Brother itself) and you were there performing some funny lamentations on life. Then you started talking in a very Shakespearean way. I thought – ‘Oh how unusual a TV presenter having what appears to be classical drama training’. Then I was immediately brought back to 1996 and the conversations I had with you and your mate about the value of classical drama training. And that thing happens when you suddenly realise that you’ve met someone before. You think ‘Oh yes - it is him, he hasn’t got his hair tied back, he’s put on a bit of weight, and he doesn’t seem as sweet and innocent. Yes, it appears that the person who I knew as Russell has aged.’
I also love the fact that your politics, football supporting, gender awareness and of course, sense of humour are all so advanced and well developed now.
Unfortunately I was diagnosed with breast cancer a couple of months ago and I was wondering if you could possibly now earn forgiveness from me, for that shift you failed to swap, which meant I got the sack from my job in the pub thus becoming homeless. (I’m not homeless anymore so some things have got better).
Could you visit me in hospital when I’m having chemo – it starts in a few weeks. Or a couple of free tickets to one of your gigs. Or perhaps I could have a signed photo?
Thanks and I look forward to hearing from you,
Best wishes and love from