Helen Mirren backs Russell Brand over Sachsgate

The British acting legend says comedians like Brand are supposed to step over the line

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Helen Mirren says the reaction to Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross’s prank phone calls to Andrew Sachs in 2008 was overblown.

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“It really made me cross,” she told Radio Times, “because that’s what comedians are for and that’s what makes them so valuable to us. Sometimes they step over the line but if they didn’t do that they wouldn’t be of the value they are.

“I hate it when they try to pull these people down. Being naughty – and it was schoolboy kind of behaviour – is one thing but there came a point where it was ‘OK, can we please move on?’”

Mirren starred alongside Brand in the remake of film comedy Arthur and was full of praise for the edgy comic.

“Russell is the kindest person. He’s kind, he’s got a great heart and he’s incredibly smart.”

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Read the full exclusive interview with the rebellious Ms Mirren in the new issue of Radio Times, on sale now, and find out why she thinks the Met needs a black Jane Tennison, and hates the title Body of the Year.