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‘Cool’ – Brand’s verdict on Twaddell camp

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Comedian Russell Brand broke Twaddell Civil Rights camp protocol when he turned up at the north Belfast site “unannounced”.

Gerald Solinas, a member of the PR committee for the camp, said he first knew of the celebrity’s arrival when he saw “a blacked out Mercedes minibus, the ones that carry stars around, parked at the camp”.

“I had just got home from work and got a call from the camp to say Russell Brand was there,” said Gerald.

“And I told them to catch a grip of themselves, but then he came on the phone and asked me how I was and how I was doing in his Cockney accent.

“He said he was in Belfast to do a gig in the Waterfront Hall and said he wanted to come and see different parts of Belfast and that he was taken up to the camp.

“He asked what we were campaigning for and then he said ‘cool’.”

Gerald said when he arrived at the camp, a short time later, Mr Brand was leaving.

“But he said it was nice speaking to me and then he gave the two ladies in the camp kisses before he left. They were delighted.”

Mr Solinas, a member of the Ulster Political Research Group (UPRG), said the top comedian was accompanied on his visit to the camp by Nobel Prize winner Mairead Corrigan Maguire.

He said he “was not quite sure whether he understood why the camp was there”.

“Obviously Mairead told them why we are there and the women in the camp told him, but I am not sure whether he understood it or not. But he was very pleasant.

“Apart from what I have read in the papers about him he was a very genuine guy and took a real interest in what the people in the camp were saying.

“His PR man said no photographs which is a pity.

“The guys in the camp were a bit starstruck. It was all over Twitter and Facebook on Wednesday night.”

He added that the star’s visit to the camp was “something different” and “quite strange”, but that it was “good publicity for the camp and the campaign”.

“I am not sure what he is going to do with what he learned,” added Mr Solinas.

“He is a comedian and I am not even sure if he used it that night at the Waterfront.

“But he wasn’t negative, he was friendly and interested and not egocentric.

“A lot of ones didn’t believe it when they heard it first, but he was there alright.”

Russell Brand was appearing at the Waterfront Hall in Belfast on Wednesday night as part of his tour.

His visit to the protest camp did not feature in Wednesday night’s show.

 

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