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02nd Oct 2017

Russell Brand’s take on becoming a father will resonate with every dad out there

"I almost felt like some chromosomic shift, some DNA alternation. I bet you could see it on a graph if you had the right instruments."

Rich Cooper

Brought to you by Bluebird 

Few things change a man like becoming a father.

In all the years, months, days and hours before, the only thing you were responsible for was yourself. You paid your bills, you ate your food, you dressed yourself and if you started to smell, well, guess who had to take care of that? But from the moment your child is born, all of that becomes secondary.

Russell Brand recently became a father, and talked about the experience on Unfiltered with James O’Brien, a new podcast from JOE. On the show, host O’Brien asked Brand if it was the first time he’d ever considered another human being to be more important than himself. The answer?

“Yes,” Brand said, unhesitatingly. “And though I knew it intellectually, now I know it know it, like when you know stuff in your guts.”

As will no doubt be the case for most fathers, your priorities are immediately flipped as soon as you have a child. For a recovering addict like Brand, whose new book Recovery: Freedom From Our Addictions provides a guide to escaping addiction in all its forms, the notions of ‘priorities’ and ‘urges’ are often intertwined.

For the 42-year-old comedian, the transition into fatherhood was profound.

“For me, my appetites and drives around promiscuity… the consumption of drugs and the wanting to be famous and wanting to be adored, all of this I felt is a quest,” Brand said.

“It’s pulling, I’m eating, I want to eat something, I want to devour, to connect. So when she was born, I felt, ‘Ahhh.’ There was an exhalation. Something real is happening here.”

What does this tell us? Russell Brand can only speak for Russell Brand, but maybe there is a need inside of us that can’t be fulfilled with material or conceptual matters – money, drugs, sex, fame – and the pursuit of those things leads us down a darkened slope rather than to actual happiness.

Matters such as these are discussed in Brand’s new book Recovery: Freedom From Our Addictions, in which the 42-year-old, who has battled addiction himself, reimagines the 12-step program made famous by Alcoholics Anonymous to help people free themselves from self-destructive behaviours, be that over-eating, sleeping with the wrong people or simply being stuck in a job they hate.

“My qualification for writing this book is not that I am better than you, it’s that I am worse. I am an addict, addicted to drugs, alcohol, sex, money, love and fame,” he said of the book.

“The programme in Recovery has given me freedom from all addictions and it will do the same for you.”

Recovery: Freedom From Our Addictions by Russell Brand is out now

Russell’s episode of Unfiltered with James O’Brien is available to download from Tuesday 3 October.