Richard Madeley has expressed his shock after being informed that he appears in the Channel 4 Dispatches documentary detailing disturbing allegations made against Russell Brand.
On Saturday night, the channel released a programme titled Russell Brand: In Plain Sight: Dispatches, which came out on the same day as an article following a joint investigation by The Times, Sunday Times and Channel 4’s Dispatches.
In the online article, four women made accusations against Brand, including rape and sexual assault, which they allege took place between 2006 and 2013. The comedian, 48, has vehemently denied all of the allegations.
On Monday’s Good Morning Britain, co-hosts Madeley and Susanna Reid discussed the latest news regarding Brand on the ITV programme with guests Andrew Pierce and Kevin Maguire.
At one point, Reid, 52, brought up the fact that Madeley, 67, is shown in the Channel 4 documentary with his wife Judy Finnigan, 75, interviewing Brand several years ago – a fact that he looked visibly astonished to discover.
‘There’s a clip where you and Judy are interviewing Russell Brand,’ Reid said, as Madeley responded: ‘Is there? In the documentary?’
Madeley speculated that the interview might have taken place around 2008 or 2009, as Reid explained how the interaction unfolded.
‘There’s a sort of you know… he’s written a book and he’s doing publicity for it, and Judy sort of raises an eyebrow and says, “Ooh yeah, you’re all innocent Russell Brand, the way you behave,” and you say, “Mm, butter wouldn’t melt,’ Reid said.
As Madeley looked at his co-presenter, she continued: ‘It was almost as you were watching, I was thinking, did you say that in a way that you kind of knew his reputation, or was there anything more to that do you think?’
Madeley looked back on the time in question, which was ‘a long time ago’, stressing that he ‘certainly never heard allegations that he was a rapist or that he’d done anything criminal’.
‘Never heard that,’ he stated. ‘If I had, we would have had to deal with that in an interview. However, as he himself has said in his statement, which he issued prior to the documentary going out, he had a terrible reputation as a womaniser, to use an old-fashioned word.
‘His reputation was – and I won’t use the four letter word beginning with S and ending with with R – but that’s what he was known as. But I never heard allegations that he was anything other than a consensual operator in that field.
‘But yes – he was an operator. And where there was an opportunity sexually, he would chase it up. And he says that himself, he was hugely promiscuous. But I have to say, I worked at Channel 4 at the time, I actually never heard specific allegations that he was breaking the law.’
On Friday, ahead of the Channel 4 documentary coming out and The Times piece being published, Brand posted a video on social media denying allegations that he said were set to be made against him.
In the video, he said that he ‘absolutely’ denied accusations, which he didn’t go into further detail about, explaining that he had received letters from a ‘mainstream media TV company’ and a newspaper, which he said included a ‘litany of extremely egregious and aggressive attacks’.
The comedian said that there were ‘some very serious allegations that I absolutely refute’, saying: ‘These allegations pertain to the time when I was working in the mainstream, when I was in the newspapers all the time, when I was in the movies and as I have written about extensively in my books, I was very, very promiscuous.
‘Now during that time of promiscuity the relationships I had were absolutely, always consensual. I was always transparent about that then, almost too transparent, and I am being transparent about it now as well.
‘To see that transparency metastasised into something criminal, that I absolutely deny, makes me question is there another agenda at play.’
The comic added that he believed that he was being subjected to a ‘coordinated attack’ and that he would be looking into the allegations, because it is ‘very, very serious’.
Good Morning Britain airs weekdays from 6am on ITV.
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