Channel 4, the U.K. network that helped drive Russell Brand’s career in its early days, has now launched its own investigation into sexual assault and misconduct allegations against the actor and TV host that arose over the weekend in a major expose.
In an email to staff revealed by The Sunday Times‘ media editor Rosamund Urwin, Channel 4 boss Alex Mahon said it had started an internal investigation into whether people at the channel “had knowledge of the alleged behaviors,” adding that it had recently safeguarded and strengthened its whistleblowing policies.
In a joint investigation by The Times, The Sunday Times and Channel 4 Dispatches, four women have come forward with allegations of rape, sexual assault and emotional abuse against Brand. He has denied the allegations.
After making a name for himself as a standup comic, Brand rose to fame on Channel 4 as the host of Big Brother spin-off Big Brother’s Big Mouth in the mid-2000s, after which he hosted his own short-lived shows Russell Brand’s Got Issues (which aired on Channel 4’s youth-skewed channel E4) and The Russell Brand Show.
News of the international investigation at Channel 4 comes as the networks has dropped episodes of both Big Brother’s Big Mouth and The Great British Bake Off featuring Brand from its online platform.
“We’ve taken down all content featuring Russell Brand while we look into the matter,” said a representative. “This includes episodes of The Great British Bake Off and the Big Brother box sets that he appeared on.”
Alongside Channel 4, both the BBC and Banjiay U.K., whose Endemol produced Big Brother, have also launched their own investigations.