UK & World News
No Joke: Brand Joins Dalai Lama On UK Tour
The Dalai Lama has been joined on stage by an unlikely personality at the start of his tour of the UK - comedian Russell Brand.
Brand, who was master of ceremonies for the Dalai Lama's speech to thousands of youngsters at Manchester Arena, described him as "amazing".
"He is intense and sort of mellow, which is what you expect of someone who meditates five times a day," Brand said.
The comedian was as frank as ever in his introduction to the Tibetan spiritual leader's talk, which was about Buddhist teachings of peace and understanding.
Brand said: "Going from junkie to Shagger of the Year...three times... to now introducing the Dalai Lama.
"It has been an interesting journey."
But the Nobel Peace Prize winner appeared to take a liking to Brand, saying that he approved of his informal style.
"This person who introduced me is very fit," the Dalai Lama said. "Completely informal!
Brand joked: "Did you pick up any spiritual tips?"
And the Dalai Lama replied: "I think your openness transfers wonderfully."
When he playfully tugged on Brand's beard on stage, the comedian responded: "Not really a lot I can do in a situation like this.
"I just have to go with it."
The Dalai Lama told the audience that the future was in the hands of the young people.
"The 21st century belongs to you," he said.
"My generation belongs to the 20th century, it has already gone so my generation are ready to say bye bye.
"You are the main people who really create the better shape of the world so therefore I think quite certain this century can be more pleasant, more peaceful and more equal."
During his 10-day stay in Britain, the Dalai Lama will address young audiences at the University of Westminster, the London School of Economics and Political Science, Edinburgh Usher Hall, Caird Hall in Dundee and the Eden Court Theatre in Inverness.
He will also meet Tibetan, Nepalese and Mongolian Buddhist communities, religious leaders and parliamentarians at Westminster and Holyrood.
The Dalai Lama was born in a small village in north-eastern Tibet and at the age of two was recognised as the incarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama, Thubten Gyatso, and began his monastic education when he was six.
He was called upon to assume full political power over the people of Tibet at the age of 15 but was forced into exile in India after China invaded Tibet in 1949.
Russell Brand has long been a high-profile supporter of the Tibetan cause.