UK

Russell Brand Vs Ed Miliband Trews Interview Released After Howls Of Indignation From The Press

29/04/2015 13:43 BST | Updated 29/04/2015 18:59 BST

It was hardly Frost/Nixon, but Ed Miliband's madly anticipated interview with Russell Brand has finally been broadcast.

After managing to become the Labour leader's most pilloried media appearance before it was even broadcast, the relatively tame interview covered Miliband's (or more precisely, Brand's) views on tax evasion, expectations of what he could change if Labour wins the election and media ownership - with Miliband claiming that Rupert Murdoch was "much less powerful than he used to be".

In an attempt to spice up the election campaign, Miliband agreed to the interview for Brand's The Trews YouTube channel, which has more than a million subscribers and is far more likely to reach those alienated by politics than the traditional current affairs shows.

The instant reaction was mixed, if not a little underwhelmed:

Miliband told Brand he was "not looking euphoria" in his campaign but "real, concrete, deliverable change".

He said: "People make change, but it's a combination of politics and people.

"How does progress come? Progress comes from people demanding change, politics responding, not all the way, and people pushing for that change to carry on.

"But without the politics, without government, the change doesn't happen. That's what happens in democratic society."

Brand said: "And I completely agree with you Ed, we don't want some sort of giddy 'yes we can' euphoria, we want a fella who's going to say look, I'm doing this for the right reasons, I'm prepared to take on Murdoch, I'm prepared to take on an HSBC, I'm prepared to take on the powerful elites that have got control of the Tory Party, that if the Tory Party were given any longer in charge of this country could drive it into the ground.

"The very fabric of society itself being torn apart by them and the vested interests of powerful elites. I think people don't want euphoria, I think people want security, stability and an end to that fear."

russell brand ed miliband

Brand and Miliband sat awfully close together

At one point in the interview, Brand spoke uninterrupted for 44 seconds and, at times, Miliband came across as an enthusiastic student interjecting in someone else's lecture than a candidate for future prime minister being interviewed.

The word "elite" made several appearances.

Discussing the whether he could break up large media companies such as Murdoch's, Miliband said: "We said in our manifesto you've got to look at these issues of media ownership and all that.

"I've spoken out, I've stood up to Rupert Murdoch on phone hacking and what happened to ordinary members of the public who were victims of phone hacking and intrusion and all those things.

"The thing I'd say to you about this is these people are less powerful than they used to be.

"Media ownership really matters, it's something I care about, I've said we've set out in our manifesto we're going to definitely look at the issue."

Brand also revealed that Green Party leader Natalie Bennett and MP Caroline Lucas would be appearing on The Trews later this week.

Before the Miliband interview actually aired, it was predictably pilloried by much of the mainstream media.

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The interview, which came to light when he was photographed leaving Brand's home on Monday night, made it to the front pages of The Sun, The Daily Mail and The Guardian on Wednesday.

After David Cameron called Miliband "a joke" for doing the interview, the tabloids ferociously attacked the Labour leader today, with many mocking for going 'mockney' during the interview.

The Sun referred to "The Monster Raving Labour Party" and The Daily Mail called Miliband "a clown". Even the left-leaning Guardian did not give the interview its full backing, calling his effort to seeking to "shift up a gear in his election campaign" a "tactical gamble".

The interview was previewed in its own trailer, in which, according to comedian David Baddiel, Miliband "sounds a bit Estuary".

He was referring to a segment of the trailer in which Brand asked Miliband how you make companies like Amazon pay more tax. Miliband said: "Yeah, we gotta deal with that. You gotta do it internationally. Because these companies are mobile around the world."

The Sun picked up on the comment in its front page.

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The Sun's front page

The Sun's attack follows its war with Brand late last year when it commissioned a poll in which most people said they did not find him funny.

It also marks a low-point in Brand-Sun relations, which has sunk to remarkable depths given Brand used to contribute to its Bizarre showbiz column.

The Mail called Miliband and Brand "clowns" on its front page.

The paper's sketch writer Quentin Letts said Miliband had tried to "glottal stop his way through a sub GCSE analysis of international tax laws".

"Dimwit Russell kept staring at our would-be Prime Minister as though he was very odd indeed – this may be the first time I have agreed with Comrade Brand," he wrote.

"The two men, one a multi-millionaire the other the son of Left-wing privilege, competed with one another to see who could be the more mockney."