Russell Brand riles residents with plan to ‘turn village’s only pub into vegan restaurant’

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Russell Brand, 47, was formerly a heroin addict known for his wild ways, but since undergoing a spiritual transformation, he is now believed to be completely teetotal. Furious villagers facing the prospect of losing their only pub have hit out at his alleged decision, exclaiming: “He doesn’t even drink!”

The comedian-turned-spiritual guru purchased the Grade II listed Crown Inn last Christmas in Pishill, Oxon, for a reported £850,000.

He and his wife Laura Gallacher, who live in nearby Henley-on-Thames, now reportedly plan to turn it into a restaurant with a vegan theme.

As part of his dramatic lifestyle change, Russell decided to go totally plant-based just before the pandemic in 2019.

However many villagers aren’t on board with his ultra-healthy, ultra-ethical lifestyle and have spoken out in indignation.

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One reportedly told The Sun: “We’ve heard he’s planning to turn the pub into a vegan restaurant. Why would anybody want that?

“He clearly never had any intention of using the pub as a pub.

“He doesn’t even drink alcohol. Why buy a pub if you don’t like drink?” the anonymous critic blasted.

Meanwhile podcast favourite Russell is said to have also made an application for planning permission to turn the garage of the property into a recording studio.

This means that he could be filming YouTube videos for his channel, which boasts almost six million subscribers.

Russell has overhauled his lifestyle dramatically since the days when he was a presenter on MTV.

He had been addicted to heroin for four years, but went into rehab after manager Chip Sommers warned him he would “wind up either in a prison, lunatic asylum or graveyard”.

Gone is his womanizing reputation, as he now lives a more peaceful lifestyle in the Oxfordshire countryside with his wife and two daughters.

He now fills his time with meditation, yoga and spiritual healing – and, of course, producing content for YouTube.

Since his newfound sobriety, Russell has invited guests such as Ricky Gervais on his shows to discuss religion and “the age of dogma”.

He has also presented complex and controversial views on hot topics including body positivity, coronavirus, vaccine passports and the war in Ukraine.

Meanwhile he has been a guest speaker at events such as WellSpring, a wellness festival in Palm Springs, California, which is focused on the likes of meditation and holistic medicine.

Russell has since told the Big Issue that he feels the world needs “to bring spirituality to the forefront of our politics”.

“What I mean by spirituality is what I would call Sesame Street values: kindness, service, community,” he continued.

“The values and morals our grandparents had.”

However only time will tell whether the residents of Oxfordshire will accept Russell’s apparent new business venture.

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