Good Morning Britain’s Susanna Reid awkward quizzed co-host Richard Madeley over his 2007 interview with Russell Brand live on air on Monday.
Richard, 67, appeared to make a barbed comment during the resurfaced interview when it was showed briefly during Saturday’s bombshell Dispatches documentary.
Russell, now 48, is currently facing allegations of sexual assaults and abusive and predatory behaviour between 2006 and 2013, when he was at the height of his fame, following the film. Allegations which he denies.
And Susanna, 52, asked her co-host if he had heard any rumblings of the former Big Brother host’s alleged behaviour – which has since been claimed was an ‘open secret’ within the industry – before the sit down.
Almost two decades ago Russell had appeared alongside Richard and his wife Judy Finnigan, 75, on their Channel 4 show promote his second memoir My Booky Wooky 2.
Tough: Good Morning Britain ‘s Susanna Reid, 52 awkward quizzed co-host Richard Madeley, 67, over his 2007 interview with Russell Brand live on air on Monday
Allegations: Richard, 67, appeared to make a barbed comment during the resurfaced interview when it was showed briefly during Saturday’s bombshell Dispatches documentary (Pictured)
With Judy introducing him and the book by saying: ‘It’s a searingly honest account of addiction and self-harm and it’s written by Russell Brand – the lovely, innocent Russell Brand.’
While Richard quipped: ‘Butter wouldn’t melt.’
Susanna asked if he had in fact made the jibe knowingly, only for Richard to say he had been totally unaware of any criminal accusations.
Stating that all he knew of Russell’s reputation was of that of a ‘womaniser’.
Since Brand was the subject of an investigation by The Times, The Sunday Times and Channel 4’s Dispatches, more women have come forward with allegations about how he has treated them, it has emerged.
The Times and Sunday Times claim ‘several women’ have come forward with undisclosed allegations about Brand’s behaviour during the early 2000s in wake of their joint investigation with Channel 4 which was published on Saturday.
The latest allegations – which the newspaper says have not been investigated, but will now be ‘rigorously checked’ – follow accusations from four women, including one who claims she was sexually assaulted by Brand during a three-month relationship with him when she was 16 and still at school.
The BBC is now also facing ‘urgent questions’ after it was claimed that Brand used his company-provided car service to pick the girl up from school.
Interview: Susanna asked if he had in fact made the jibe knowingly, only for Richard to say he had been totally unaware of any criminal accusations
Candid: He stated that all he knew of Russell’s reputation was of that of a ‘womaniser’
It comes as both BBC and Channel 4 have launched internal investigations into separate accusations of predatory behaviour by Brand towards staff and audience members during the time of his employment.
Channel 4 has since removed all programmes linked to Brand from its website, including episodes of The Great British Bake Off and Big Brother’s Big Mouth in which he was featured, The Daily Telegraph reported.
Netflix has since been urged to remove his comedy special, titled Re:Birth, from its streaming catalogue.
The maverick actor and stand-up comic has strenuously denied any wrongdoing and blamed the ‘mainstream media’ for the ‘litany of astonishing rather baroque attacks’.
BBC chiefs scrambled to investigate Brand last night after the comedian was accused of rape.
Their probe was announced minutes before Scotland Yard piled on the pressure by announcing that detectives would like to speak to the comedian’s alleged victims.
Scary: Russell, now 48, is currently facing allegations of sexual assaults and abusive and predatory behaviour between 2006 and 2013. Pictured: Russell Brand hosting Big Brother’s Little Brother in May 2006
One accuser, Alice (pictured), alleges that Russell Brand sexually assaulted her when she was 16 years old. She claims he would send a car to pick her up from secondary school, which she has since claimed was a ‘BBC car’
The comedian released a video last week refuting all the allegations against him. Pictured: Brand leaving the Troubabour Wembley Park theatre after a gig on Saturday night
Brand, a former star of the BBC and Channel 4, faces bombshell claims from women alleging sexual assaults, abuse and predatory behaviour – including one who was a 16-year-old schoolgirl.
But the claims from one businesswoman – who alleged Brand raped her when she refused a threesome – and another who said she was 16 when he choked her during a sexual act, prompted a firestorm yesterday.
Among the complaints raised in the investigation were allegations by a woman, referred to as Alice to protect her identity, who claims she was sexually assaulted by Brand as a 16-year-old.
She alleges he was ‘preoccupied’ with her being ‘innocent and pure’, and often referred to her as ‘The Child’.
Alice described his behaviour towards her as ‘grooming’ as Brand would allegedly provide her with scripts on how to deceive her parents into allowing her to visit him. She also claimed he would send his ‘BBC car’ to her secondary school to pick her up.
‘The first time I used it, he told me it was booked to take him to his radio show but he had a friend taking him instead so I should use that car,’ she told The Times.
She claimed the chauffeur once took her from Brand’s home to her grandmother’s house and that on a separate occasion the same car ‘picked me up from school’.
Alice added: ‘It was the same car…I knew that that was a BBC car.’
The BBC did not initially commit to an inquiry but amid the growing outcry, it shifted its position last night and a spokesman said it was ‘urgently looking into the issues’.
In a statement, a BBC spokesman said: ‘The documentary and associated reports contained serious allegations, spanning a number of years.
‘Russell Brand worked on BBC radio programmes between 2006 and 2008 and we are urgently looking into the issues raised.’
The broadcaster yesterday launched an internal investigation into what was known about Brand’s alleged behaviour following claims that at least one senior executive was aware of complaints against the comedian and seemingly dismissed them.
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