Comedian Russell Brand calls Weston-super-Mare 'junkie town'
By Prue_Reid | Saturday, September 08, 2012, 16:25
Controversial comic Russell Brand courted infamous by claiming Weston-super-Mare is full of drug-taking junkies prior to his show at The Playhouse this week.
The long-haired funnyman, 37, better known for his 14-month marriage to popular singer Katy Perry offended locals by being rude about Weston on Twitter.
But he isn't the first comedian to make this faux pas.
Journalist Dom Joly, writing for The Independent in June 2008, said: "Having been away filming in somewhere glamorous like Nicaragua, it's always grounding to return to the UK.
"I was straight off the plane and down to Weston-super-Mare for a couple of days' filming for a golf DVD I'm making.
"I have a particular aversion to British seaside towns – we just can't seem to get them right.
"They're either places like Padstow that have been totally taken over by a TV chef and turned into a personality-based marketing opportunity or they're the windswept, penny-arcade, ****-stinking destinations of the desperate.
"Weston-super-Mare is one of the latter."
You can read the full text by clicking HERE.
Apparently Mr Joly has been trying to make amends every since but Google his name and Weston and the article is still online for everyone to read.
Only this month he grovelled on the Jonathan Ross show that he is only just making friends with Weston after his disparaging remarks four years ago.
So perhaps Brand was just publicity seeking? He has also appeared on the TV chat show recently just weeks after his former wife.
Before performing on Tuesday night, September 4, he told his five million Twitter followers 'let me take you to junky town' before giving fans the date of the Weston performance.
Weston mayor David Hitchins wasn't impressed.
He said before Brand's arrival: "It is disappointing because I don't think he has given the town a fair chance or the people who are working here for the good of the town.
"It's annoying he has chosen to say this about the town when he clearly hasn't been here for a while and there are a lot of people here working hard for the benefit of Weston.
"When he comes I think he should have a good look around the town and see the real Weston."
Weston-super-Mare had previously been known for its large number of recovering drug addicts.
And at one time it had the largest number of rehabs in relation per capita to its 70,000 population in Europe.
The number of drug rehab spaces has nearly halved in the past six years thanks to a campaign for tighter controls by Weston MP John Penrose.
In six years, the amount of beds offered to recovering drug addicts has dropped from 500 to 262.
An accreditation scheme has seen a decrease in private landlord-run bed-sits for addicts, and more professionally-run treatment centres.
Mr Penrose said Weston needed 'fewer, better rehabs'.
He added that there had been too many beds for a town of its size and the figures proved that hard work by rehab owners, the police and Weston-super-Mare Town Council community safety and drug action team had paid off.
Brand had flown in from the US and is testing out his new material on a few small theatres nationwide and had selected Weston as one of his choices.
A Playhouse spokesman said: "Regarding the comments he made about calling Weston a 'junky town" on Twitter, you can say that he defended this during the show as said he was just trying to make a joke.
"He also said the mayor should be focusing more on saving the Tropicana than worrying about his jokey remarks."
The stand-up comedian also got himself into hot water when asked about dating former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell.
According to The Sun newspaper, someone in the audience heckled: "Is she ginger all over?"
Not taking the jibe lightly, Brand said: "Don't be dirty.
"She's not got hair on her back.
"She's not like an orange Yeti.
"She's not like some hairy Jaffa Cake bear.
"She's still a person, she's still an actual person."
While Ginger Spice may have confirmed her relationship with Russell, the 37-year old has seen been spotted on a picnic date with a mystery woman who he is said to have called his 'beloved Amy'.
He then told the audience not to ask any more questions about her, saying, 'look, give me a year and I'll turn it into good material for you'.