Russell Brand set to make return to BBC

Russell Brand is set to make his big return to the BBC, after being dramatically  ditched by the broadcaster in 2008 for making prank phone calls live on air to  actor Andrew Sachs.

Brand, who was forced off the BBC four years ago after he and Jonathan Ross  made a series of prank calls to Fawlty Towers stars Sachs in which he discussed  having slept with the actor’s granddaughter.

But now it looks as though the controversial comedian is set to make a  comeback at the corporation, who have commissioned a documentary about addiction  and are in the early stages of planning its development with Brand.

A BBC spokesperson told The Guardian: ‘We are working with Russell on a  programme about addiction in the UK but it’s currently only in its early  stages.’

A drug and sex addict for many years, Brand has sobered up but remains full  to the brim of anecdotes from his time in the wilderness, which he has shared on  chat shows and in his memoirs.

The 36-year-old was a friend of singer Amy Winehouse, who died last year at  the age of 27 after a well-documented battle with drug and alcohol  addictions.

Following her death, Brand paid tribute to Winehouse and called for a change  in the way society views and treats those suffering from addiction. He wrote on his blog: ‘All we can do is adapt the way we view this condition,  not as a crime or a romantic affectation but as a disease that will kill.

‘We need to review the way society treats addicts, not as criminals but as  sick people in need of care. We need to look at the way our government funds  rehabilitation.

‘It is cheaper to rehabilitate an addict than to send them to prison, so  criminalisation doesn’t even make economic sense.

‘Not all of us know someone with the incredible talent that Amy had but we  all know drunks and junkies and they all need help and the help is out there.’