Passport troubles leave comic Russell Brand grounded

Passport troubles leave comic Russell Brand grounded

JOHANNESBURG - British actor and comic Russell Brand was forced to cancel a planned stand-up gig in Johannesburg Friday, after being denied permission to board a flight because his passport was not in order.

Brand was prevented by an airline from leaving London after it emerged he did not have two free pages in his passport, a requisite to enter South Africa, his publicist Debra de Souza said.

Brand made the announcement to his seven million plus fans on Twitter. "Tonight's J-burg show cancelled. SA authorities REFUSE TO LET ME INTO YOUR COUNTRY. Trying to resolve it," Brand tweeted under the handle @rustyrockets.

Plans are under way to get the 38-year-old into the country in time for another Johannesburg show scheduled for Saturday.

The award-winning comedian had sold out four back-to-back shows in the city, starting Friday.

Local publicist Tony Feldman apologised to ticket holders for "this unexpected and disappointing last-minute change".

The promoter was working to squeeze in a replacement show next week for Friday's ticket-holders.

A recovering drug and alcohol addict with a reputation as a womaniser, Brand found fame as a comedian and later as a TV and radio presenter in Britain.

His fame expanded to the United States when he starred in Hollywood films "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" and "Get Him to the Greek", and as former husband to US singer Katy Perry.

In 2010 he was arrested after allegedly attacking a photographer at Los Angeles International Airport.

Brand's "Messiah Complex" tour, which is running until April next year, will also take him to Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Turkey, among other destinations.

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