When his BBC career eventually imploded, over an obscene prank call that Brand and Jonathan Ross made on air to the actor Andrew Sachs, Hollywood snapped him up. When that star too waned, he reinvented himself in Britain as an anti-capitalist, anti-mainstream leftwing thinker, surfing the coming wave of Corbynism and lionised this time by a liberal political establishment anxious to show young people that they got it. The then Labour leader, Ed Miliband, famously submitted to an interview with Brand carrying more than a whiff of political cool girl vibes, but the editors of Newsnight, Question Time and the New Statesman were equally seduced by his edgy glamour – and yes, for a while he wrote a column for the Guardian, too. When all that dried up, Brand evolved into a YouTube wellness guru peddling conspiracy theories about Covid-19 or the war in Ukraine, building a cranky rightwing following to replace his leftwing one.
It really has gone full-on from all quarters. The one incident so far referred to the Met is the only legal gesture; the rest of it is trial by media and massively so.