During Russell Brand’s brief foray into politics, the comedian struggled to be taken seriously by members of the establishment. On one such occasion, Peter Hitchens hit out at the BBC for inviting the comedian to discuss drugs policy on an episode of Newsnight. The incident irked Brand so much that he later asked for the scene to be omitted from a documentary charting his career.
So Mr S is intrigued to learn that Brand may be taking steps to bolster his academic credentials. Word reaches Steerpike that Brand has been spied looking around the School of Oriental and African Studies — part of the University of London — which counts Aung San Suu Kyi among its almuni. A student at SOAS reports that the comedian-turned-revolutionary was given a tour by a university official, who said that Brand was considering studying there.
While a spokesman for Brand is yet to respond to Mr S’s request for comment, the university could match well with Brand’s interests. The institution runs courses on everything from politics to the traditions of yoga and meditation, while his former flame Jemima Goldsmith studied for a one year course in Near & Middle East Studies there.
Still, should Brand take the plunge he may have his work cut out as he doesn’t have a great track record with academia. As well as describing university students at Cambridge as ‘Harry Potter p–fs’ in 2014, he has previously suggested that exams shouldn’t be taken seriously:
Good luck with your exams but don't take it seriously- I have no A-Levels and am now studied for A-Level, it's all rhubarb.
— Russell Brand (@rustyrockets) May 12, 2014
Of course it wouldn’t be entirely out of character for Brand to change his stance on an issue so there may be hope for him yet.