Entertaining and enlightening? What more could you want from a stand-up double act? And that’s what young people gathered at the Manchester Arena at the weekend were treated to as comedian Russell Brand and Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama took to the stage for a talk entitled Century of Dialogue – Stand up and Be the Change.
The Dalai Lama, on a ten-day tour of Britain to share his Buddhist message of peace and understanding, told the audience of under-25s “The 21st century belongs to you… You are the main people who really create the better shape of the world so therefore I think quite certain this century can be more pleasant, more peaceful and more equal.”
The spiritual leader appeared to be getting on well with host Brand and enjoying himself on stage. At one point he grabbed the comic’s beard and used it to pull him in for a photo opportunity. “Not really a lot I can do in a situation like this. I just have to go with it,” said Brand, who was clearly impressed by the Tibetan.
“He is intense and sort of mellow, which is what you expect of someone who meditates five times a day,” said Brand, while the Lama was equally complimentary, telling the outspoken comedian “I think your openness transfers wonderfully.”