It's been nearly nine years since Russell Brand's radio show came to its abrupt and dramatic end, bringing the country's biggest broadcaster to its knees in the process. Despite a brief spell on TalkSport and a series of podcasts on Audioboom, Russell Brand has been mostly absent from the airwaves...until now.
In truth, it's a surprise that the original radio show didn't incur the wrath of the Daily Mail sooner. Nigh on every week the content would veer dangerously close to poor taste before yanking it back from the brink. But to focus on the show's untimely end would be to do it a massive injustice, it was chaotic, it was unplanned, it was devoid of format, it was utterly, utterly brilliant.
It's hard to overstate how much influence the podcast had on me. Listening to them at a formative age, the show influenced my opinions, political beliefs, cultural references, sense of humour, pretty much everything. I made multiple friendships through shared love of the show and shamelessly stole jokes from it to make several more. To this day, I still revisit the original podcasts, laughing at every joke as if it's the first time I've heard it.
The radio plays to Russell's strengths giving him free reign to improvise, riff and bounce off his co-hosts and long term friends, Matt Morgan and Mr Gee. The brilliance of the show is in no small part down to the dynamic between Russell and Matt. Just as Russell begins to ride off on a wave of his own ego, Matt's there to bring him crashing back down to earth. Brilliantly funny in his own right, Matt is there to prick at Russell's plans for revolution, poke fun at his many contradictions and eccentricities as well as offer his own anecdotes, usually about moments of crushing social anxiety he's experienced. In amongst the playful sniping, there's a genuine warmth between the two, a snapshot of a friendship that's nearly two decades old.
Back on wireless now after a long absence, it's as if they've never been away. The same sense of chaos, the same laugh out loud moments and the same feeling as though they're only ever a few missteps away from creating headlines.
The Russell Brand Show is back and I couldn't be happier.