Is Russell Brand prepping to become a candidate for the 2016 London mayoral race? That was the earlier speculation offered by the UK Mail this weekend, quoting sources close to the actor. A spokesman further whipped up the media rumor mill by adding: "We are not commenting."
On this morning's XFM Breakfast radio show, Brand decided to put the issue to rest.
"Absolutely not," he said. "We've already got a comic in the job. If you want a daft comedian running London, just leave things as they are. What I'm interested in is real change."
Talk about Brand as a potential player in London politics came on the heels of his latest book "Revolution," which outlines the comedian's thoughts on everything from the failures of the nation state to the environmental detriments of natural gas fracking. Critics have not been kind, with the general consensus that the 39-year-old's musings, while earnest in tone, don't offer any real solutions to fixing the wrongs that he's railing against. That lack of detail, coupled with vague declarations that the world needs more meditation and spirituality to evolve, made any talk of a mayoral run ring hollow.
Further complicating any run at office was a previous statement he made last year to the BBC: "Don't bother voting," he said in an interview with the BBC's "Newsnight." "Stop voting, stop pretending, wake up, be in reality now. Why vote? We know it's not going to make any difference."
In an op-ed piece for the Telegraph, London Mayor Boris Johnson welcomed Brand's possible participation in the race, saying that while much of what he advocates for in "Revolution" would lead to "total global chaos and destruction," his zeal for change is inspiring to young voters.
"Russell Brand may be about as convincing as a political theorist as a toaster made by Russell Hobbs, but he is at least engaging his left-wing audience with something they can recognise as passion," he writes.
In response, Brand said Johnson should look beyond corporate interests and do a better job representing the people. "I think we've already got a comedian who's more known for his hair than his policies," he said.
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