ALASTAIR CAMPBELL BLOGS:Why Ed Was Right to See Brand and Why It Is Dacre, Murdoch and Cameron Who Are the Real Rusty Rockets
It hasn't even actually aired yet, but Ed Miliband's attempt to spice up an increasing dull election campaign with an appearance on Russell Brand's Trews YouTube channel has been predictably pilloried by much of the mainstream media.
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 referring 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, to be published today at "lunchtime", has been 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."
Miliband must have felt like he was back at school putting on that mockney to speak to Russell Brand. #GE2015— Tom (@RealTomH) April 29, 2015
Why does @Ed_Miliband think speaking in a cockney accent to a privately-educated, 39-year-old multi-millionaire will win the youth vote?— Toby Young (@toadmeister) April 29, 2015
The Sun picked up on the comment in its 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.
I wrote The Sun's Bizarre column today with a pen. I described Rio Ferdinand's jumper as SNUG not SMUG. Damn my handwriting. Is he on here?— Russell Brand (@rustyrockets) November 14, 2009
The Mail called Miliband and Brand "clowns" on its front page.
Do you really want this clown ruling us? (And no we don't mean the one on the left)April 28, 2015
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."
Meanwhile, Ed Balls seems to have reconciled with Brand, saying their war of words was "what the young people call banter, I am told".
Brand had called the shadow chancellor "a click-wristed, snidy c**t" and Balls responded that the comedian was a "pound shop Ben Elton".
Speaking during a campaign visit to Cardiff on Tuesday, Miliband defended being interviewed by Brand, saying: "I decided that some people were saying the campaign was too boring so I thought it would make it more interesting."
He said he "profoundly" disagreed with Brand's previous declaration that voting does not make a difference.
But he added: "I'm going to go anywhere and talk to anyone to take that message out to people about how we can change this country so it works for working people again.
"I say to all of the politicians in this campaign, here is the danger, the danger is that politics is being played in an increasingly empty stadium.
"If we don't recognise that, if we don't engage in different ways with the people who aren't engaging in this election, then we will have fewer and fewer people voting.
"Russell Brand asked me for an interview and I was very, very happy to accept."
Miliband said if he talked only to people he agreed with, he "wouldn't be doing many interviews".