'From junkie to shagger of the year to introducing the Dalai Lama': Russell Brand joins spiritual leader on stage
18:12 GMT, 16 June 2012
With his bad boy past as a promiscuous bed-hopper and drug addict, Russell Brand isn't always known for his spiritual side.
But as the reformed comedian, 37, introduced the Dalai Lama, 76, during a youth event in Manchester today, even he 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', Brand was praised by the spiritual leader for his 'openness'.
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Larking around: The Dalai Lama pulls Russell Brand's beard during the Century of Dialogue – Stand up and Be the Change event at the Manchester Arena
Introducing the free event at Manchester Arena, which was attended by several thousand under-25s, Brand introduced the Dalai Lama in a frank and honest speech.
He 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.'
Contrasting styles: Brand was wearing his signature skinny jeans and jacket as he joined the Dalai Lama on stage
Spreading peace: Brand was introducing the Tibetan leader's talk to thousands of young people
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 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 Brand more of a night owl and the Dalai Lama as an early riser.
Tickled: The 76-year-old looked like he was having a good time
The Tibetan leader said: 'Day is for work, night is for sleep but you can do what makes you happy.'
Brand replied: 'Thank you for sanctioning my lifestyle.'
But Brand 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.
Making new friends: The Dalai Lama speaks to Irish teenager Kila Curran Coleman
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.