Passport woes leave Russell Brand grounded

By Kirstin Buick
15 November 2013

British actor and comic Russell Brand was forced to cancel a planned stand-up gig in Johannesburg today after being denied permission to board a flight because his passport wasn’t in order.

Brand was prevented by an airline from leaving London after it emerged he didn’t have two free pages in his passport, a requisite to enter South Africa, his publicist Debra de Souza said.

Brand made the announcement to his more than seven million fans on Twitter, "Tonight's J-burg show cancelled. SA authorities REFUSE TO LET ME INTO YOUR COUNTRY. Trying to resolve it," Brand tweeted under the handle @rustyrockets.

Plans are under way to get the 38-year-old into the country in time for another Johannesburg show scheduled for tomorrow. The award-winning comedian had sold out four back-to-back shows in the city, starting today.

Local publicist Tony Feldman apologised to ticket holders for "this unexpected and disappointing last-minute change".

The promoter was working to squeeze in a replacement show next week for Friday's ticket-holders.

A recovering drug and alcohol addict with a reputation as a womaniser, Brand found fame as a comedian and later as a TV and radio presenter in Britain.

His fame expanded to the United States when he starred in Hollywood films Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Get Him to the Greek, and as former husband to US singer Katy Perry. In 2010 he was arrested after allegedly attacking a photographer at Los Angeles International Airport. Brand's Messiah Complex tour, which is running until April next year, will also take him to Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Turkey, among other destinations.

We spoke to Russell on the phone about his Messiah Complex tour - read more in this week's YOU!


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