Russell Brand: Channel 4 boss says ‘no evidence’ alleged incidents reported to management

YouTube stops actor from making money on its platform while BBC pulls material that ‘now falls below public expectations’

The boss of Channel 4 says the broadcaster has “carried out extensive document searches and thus far have found no evidence to suggest the alleged incidents” about Russell Brand were reported to management.

The comedian and actor (48) is facing allegations of rape, emotional abuse and sexual assault.

Channel 4 has launched an investigation into his time at the channel after he was accused of pursuing audience members for sex while presenting the broadcaster’s Big Brother spin-off shows EFourum and Big Brother’s Big Mouth.

A researcher claimed concerns about Mr Brand’s behaviour were reported to production managers at Endemol, the company commissioned by Channel 4 to produce the programmes in 2004 and 2005, but were dismissed.


Mr Brand has strongly denied the allegations, in a video posted online on Friday, saying he has been “promiscuous” but that all of his relationships have been “consensual”.

The BBC has also announced a review into Mr Brand’s time at BBC Radio 2 and BBC Radio 6 Music between 2006 and 2008 which the corporation’s director general Tim Davie said will have an “initial report in weeks, not months”.

YouTube had earlier announced that the Google-owned company has stopped Mr Brand making money on its platform because he was “violating” its “creator responsibility policy”.

A joint investigation by The Times, Sunday Times and Channel 4′s Dispatches, which also include claims of controlling, abusive and predatory behaviour, was published at the weekend and covers Mr Brand’s time at the height of his fame when he worked at the BBC, Channel 4 and starred in Hollywood films.

Another probe is being conducted by Banijay UK, which bought Endemol, the company commissioned by Channel 4 to produce the Big Brother spin-off shows the presenter hosted, into his behaviour while he was working on its programmes.

“We are also conducting our own further internal investigations and we have encouraged anyone who is aware of such behaviour to contact us directly.”

She added that since the alleged incidents took place, there is “a zero-tolerance approach to unacceptable behaviour” and a “robust code of conduct”.

“We will be writing to all of our current suppliers to remind them of the importance of their responsibilities under our code of conduct,” she added.

“We are committed to ensuring that our industry has safe, inclusive and professional working environments.”

During a long-arranged session with BBC staff on Tuesday, Mr Davie said the probe will be led by the BBC’s director of editorial complaints Peter Johnston.

The broadcaster also said on Tuesday that it was removing some content featuring the 48-year-old from its iPlayer and Sounds apps which “now falls below public expectations”.

An episode of comedy panel show QI and a Joe Wicks podcast, both featuring Brand as a guest, have been removed, the PA news agency understands.

A spokesperson for podcasting platform Acast confirmed to PA on Tuesday that advertisements were turned off “immediately” for Brand’s Under The Skin podcast following the allegations.

In a long-arranged Q&A session with BBC staff on Tuesday, the corporation’s director general Tim Davie was quizzed about how it was responding following accusations about Brand’s time on BBC Radio 2 and BBC Radio 6 Music between 2006 and 2008.

The Times reported on Monday that a woman claims Brand used the BBC’s car service to pick her up from school when she was 16 so she could visit his home.

Mr Davie said he hopes a review, led by BBC’s director of editorial complaints Peter Johnston, will give an “initial report in weeks, not months” and added that “the objective is to be totally transparent”.

He also said: “The review will also look at the position regarding any cars used by the BBC at that time – because that was obviously something that, again, in a powerful testimony, was mentioned.”

The news comes after the remaining shows of Mr Brand’s Bipolarisation tour were postponed and the Metropolitan Police said it had received a report of an alleged sexual assault in the wake of media allegations. – PA