Russell Brand shows postponed after allegations of sexual assault

<span>Photograph: Jeff Spicer/Getty Images</span>
Photograph: Jeff Spicer/Getty Images

The promoters of Russell Brand’s standup show have pulled his appearances over the next 10 days, while the actor and comedian’s publisher announced it was “pausing” all future book projects with him.

Brand also failed to appear for his regular 5pm live show on the video platform Rumble on Monday. He used his last appearance on Friday evening to deny the rape and sexual assault allegations against him that were published at the weekend.

The allegations followed a joint investigation by the Sunday Times, the Times and Channel 4’s Dispatches programme.

He was due to perform his Bipolarisation show at the Theatre Royal Windsor on Tuesday, Plymouth Pavilions on Friday and the Halls Wolverhampton next Thursday.

A statement from the promoters issued on Monday afternoon said: “We are postponing these few remaining addiction charity fundraiser shows, we don’t like doing it – but we know you’ll understand.”

The venues had been locked in talks most of the day over what to do about the Brand show after he was accused of rape and sexual assault.

Meanwhile, Bluebird, Brand’s publishers, said in a statement: “These are very serious allegations and in the light of them, Bluebird has taken the decision to pause all future publishing with Russell Brand.”

Bluebird, an imprint of Pan Macmillan, has in recent years published the comedian’s titles including Recovery: Freedom from Our Addictions, and Mentors: How to Help and Be Helped.

A new book by Brand, Recovery: The Workbook, was due to be published by Bluebird in December 2025, according to the company’s website.

Bipolarisation was sold out in Windsor. The theatre swiftly removed mention of the show from its website on Monday after the promoters’ statement. The show was also sold out in Plymouth but tickets were still available in Wolverhampton.

The Theatre Royal Windsor
The Theatre Royal Windsor, where Brand was scheduled to perform on Tuesday. Photograph: Toby Melville/Reuters

The promoters and the venues face having to refund ticket holders. A statement from Theatre Royal Windsor said it “will be offering ticket refunds in line with our terms and conditions of sale”.

Luke Pollard, a Plymouth MP, had suggested that the show should be cancelled. He posted on X (formerly Twitter): “On Russell Brand’s gig in #Plymouth on Friday: in any other job after serious allegations of rape and sexual assault where the alleged perpetrator still has access to women, they would be suspended pending investigation. This is the equivalent of cancelling or postponing shows.”

The venues are likely to face significant financial losses from the postponements at a time when local theatres and venues are struggling with mounting costs and uncertain revenues.

Brand did appear on stage in Bipolarisation at Wembley Park theatre on Saturday. It was the first time he had appeared in public after news of the sexual assault allegations had broken. About 2,000 people attended the show, which began an hour after the scheduled start time. The crowd was told Brand had been delayed by traffic.

According to a BBC reporter present, a woman in the crowd held a large piece of paper saying: “We stand by you.”

Brand appeared distracted and his fans could be heard expressing hatred of the mainstream media, the BBC report said. He told the audience: “I really appreciate your support, I love you, I want to do a fantastic show for you.

“I’ve got a lot of things to talk to you about. There are obviously some things that I absolutely cannot talk about and I appreciate that you will understand.”

Bipolarisation was billed as: “Rules and rule breaking! Democracy and freedom! We reach conclusions from mass confusion by polling the live audience. We want to hear YOUR opinion.”

Last year the comedian Katherine Ryan told Louis Theroux that it was an “open secret” within the comedy industry that a prominent performer was facing allegations of sexual assault.

She declined to name the comedian at the time, citing a “litigious minefield because lots of people have tried to nail this person down for their alleged crimes and this person has very good lawyers”.

However, she told Theroux that she had repeatedly criticised the comedian to his face while working on a show together.

“I, in front of loads of people, in the format of the show said to this person’s face that they are a predator, again and again,” she said, only for those comments to be edited from the final broadcast. “It’s fine, I still got paid and I still did my job, but I did it in my way that I felt was fair.”

That programme is believed to be the 2018 series of Comedy Central’s Roast Battle, which featured Ryan and Brand as judges. Deadline, which first reported the link, claimed that Brand was deeply uncomfortable and asked producers to protect him from being criticised by his fellow comedians.

All clips from the show featuring Brand have now been removed from Comedy Central’s YouTube channel, while Channel 4 has also removed shows featuring Brand from its streaming services.

Ryan has yet to comment on the Brand allegations. Yet, by coincidence, on Wednesday night she is due to perform as the after-dinner speaker at the Royal Television Society’s Cambridge conference. The comic has been booked to entertain all the top executives in the British television industry – including many who worked with Brand.

Brand has achieved a large following by promoting conspiracy theories and attacking the media. It was not clear where responsibility lies for the contracts with venues for Brand’s show.

After venues cancelled appearances by the evangelical Christian Franklin Graham under pressure from LGBTQ+ activists in 2020, the preacher sued for breach of contract.

The Billy Graham Evangelical Alliance succeeded in overturning six challenges by UK venues.