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How to Get Free Stuff: Befriend a Celebrity… Kind of?

This guy may have spent the day with Russell Brand

@oobahs/Instagram/Vice Media

What lengths would you go to in order to get free stuff? For Oobah Butler from VICE, it’s pretending he’s spending the day with Russell Brand.

There were a few steps to this master scheme, but it worked to get a lot of companies to send him goodies. Oobah previously convinced a lot of people that ‘the shed’ he lives in was on TripAdvisor as the top-rated restaurant. Having experienced minor celebrity for this prank, he was yearning for more. How better to achieve more celebrity than forge being friends with one?

After asking his friends Butler found Ryan. Ryan looks close enough to Mr Brand himself, he could stand in photos and don some sunglasses to sneak past hotel staff. Furthermore, Butler gained the domain www.russellbrand.co using GoDaddy. He began to send emails under the alias Ben Mather, otherwise known as Brand’s PA.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bg-v-RuHQ0a/?taken-by=ryvnhll

Through this, he finds a hotel that is popular with celebrities that is willing to offer him a free suite for the day. He begins the Wednesday play date with Russell, waiting in a coffee shop. He tags Caffé Nero, as influencers do. He then releases an Instagram story with a photoshopped, royalty free image of Russell Brand. Not long after his DMs light up with people congratulating him, in disbelief, but believing it.

Do you think you’d catch the trickery?

At the hotel, a flustered woman hands Oobah the keys and he snuck Ryan, posing as Brand, upstairs. He posts on Instagram later on that work is finished and ask for anything people want to send. Amongst other things, they get socks and Dominoes followed by concert tickets to see Elbow perform at the O2.

Oobah admits that simple googling will have told you that Brand is a vegan and so wouldn’t have eaten the pizza’s dominoes sent. Also, Russell had a gig in Hull that night and so physically couldn’t have been with Oobah. However, no one caught this out.

The next day, Butler received a very angry call stating, “if you continue to send messages as his PA, you can expect legal action from Russell’s agent”. And before publishing his experience he asked Brand for comment. Simply put, he said that he can’t use his image to get free stuff. But as Oobah rightly says, he already has.

Watch how the real Russell Brand deals with hecklers at his shows!

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