Controversial comedian Russell Brand will laugh his way into the New Year with a stretch of performances across the UK. The nearly 30-show run...

Controversial comedian Russell Brand will laugh his way into the New Year with a stretch of performances across the UK. The nearly 30-show run begins January 18 at Hexagon theatre in Reading, ENG, and wraps with February 27-28 sets at Bournemouth International Centre in Bournemouth, ENG.

The actor and comedian’s stops in his native England include January 23 and February 26 gigs at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham, a February 4-5 run at the Apollo in Manchester, and February 7, 12 and 13 shows at the Hammersmith Apollo in London. He is also booked for a single show in Northern Ireland on January 24 stop at Waterfront Hall in Belfast, as well as a couple two-night stands in Scotland on February 14-15 at SECC in Glasgow and on February 22-23 at Edinburgh Playhouse Theatre in Edinburgh.

Brand is best known to American audiences for his role as a rock star in the movie “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” and his recent hosting stint on the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards. However, the performer’s public image in the UK is spotted by his often controversial comedy stunts and past struggles with drug and alcohol addiction.

Most recently, the comedian made headlines for prank phone calls made during his radio broadcast on BBC Radio 2. During a mid-October segment, Brand and a fellow DJ left a series of messages on the home answering machine of actor Andrew Sachs, who portrayed Manuel on the comedy series “Fawlty Towers.” After an uproar over the nature of the calls and lack of censorship, Brand resigned from the broadcast, apologizing for his “juvenile and thoughtless remarks,” according to a BBC report.

Despite his checkered reputation, Brand remains a superstar of comedy and has received critical acclaim for his stand-up routine and writing. The comedian is a columnist for The Guardian and has released two collections of his articles, as well as a 2007 autobiography titled “My Booky Wook.” In the U.S., Brand will next be seen alongside Adam Sandler in the upcoming children’s film “Bedtime Stories,” which will hit theaters on December 25.

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Russell Brand itinerary:
(Dates are subject to change.)

January 18 Reading, ENG Hexagon Theatre
January 19 Ipswich, ENG Ipswich Regent Theatre
January 23 Birmingham, ENG National Indoor Arena
January 24 Belfast, NIR Waterfront Hall
January 27 Portsmouth, ENG Portsmouth Guildhall
January 28 Oxford, ENG Oxford New Theatre
January 30 – 31 Newcastle upon Tyne, ENG Newcastle City Hall
February 2 Liverpool, ENG Echo Arena
February 3 Sheffield, ENG Sheffield City Hall Memorial Hall
February 4 – 5 Manchester, ENG Apollo Manchester
February 6 Blackpool, ENG Winter Gardens and Opera House
February 7 London, ENG Hammersmith Apollo
February 10 – 11 London, ENG Carling Academy – Brixton
February 12 – 13 London, ENG Hammersmith Apollo
February 14 – 15 Glasgow, SCO SECC
February 18 – 19 Plymouth, ENG Plymouth Pavilions
February 20 Nottingham, ENG Trent FM Arena
February 22 – 23 Edinburgh, SCO Edinburgh Playhouse Theatre
February 26 Birmingham, ENG National Indoor Arena
February 27 – 28 Bournemouth, ENG Bournemouth International Centre