Russell Brand introduced the Dalai Lama during a youth event in Manchester yesterday and admitted he was finding the experience somewhat surreal.
Acting as master of ceremonies for his holiness’s Century of Dialogue – Stand Up and Be The Change talk, Russell Brand, 37, was praised by the spiritual leader for his “openness”.
Introducing the free event at Manchester Arena, which was attended by several thousand under-25s, Russell Brand introduced the Dalai Lama, 76, in a frank and honest speech.
The comedian said: “Going from junkie to Shagger of the Year…three times… to now introducing the Dalai Lama. It has been an interesting journey.
“He is intense and sort of mellow, which is what you expect of someone who meditates five times a day.”
Russell Brand jokingly asked the Dalai Lama if had picked up any spiritual tips.
The Dalai Lama replied: “I think your openness transfers wonderfully.”
At one point the Dalai Lama playfully pulled his beard, with Russell Brand saying: “Not really a lot I can do in a situation like this. I just have to go with it.”
The two men went on to discuss their contrasting sleeping pattern, with Russell Brand more of a night owl and the Dalai Lama as an early riser.
The Tibetan leader said: “Day is for work, night is for sleep but you can do what makes you happy.”
Russell Brand replied: “Thank you for sanctioning my lifestyle.”
But the comedian found himself lost for words when the Dalai Lama admitted that while his sleep patterns weren’t affected by different time zones he travelled in, his bowel movements were.
Russell Brand quipped: “That was more information then I imagined was possible to receive.”
The Dalai Lama is currently on a 10-day tour of Britain and is appealing to the young to foster a culture of non-violence and global peace in 2012.
His Holiness is promoting his new online film Stand Up And Be The Change – shot by Rankin – which features the Gorillaz, Tilda Swinton, Stella McCartney, Willem Dafoe, Beth Ditto, Jarvis Cocker, Alison Mosshart, Michael Stipe and Grimes.