Russell Brand embraces Bear Grylls in new photo from River Thames baptism

Russell Brand embraces Bear Grylls in new photo from River Thames baptism

Russell Brand has shared the first photo of his baptism in the River Thames last week, which features Bear Grylls.

Brand previously shared a video to social media detailing how Grylls was one of two men who “flanked him” during the ceremony where he lives in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire.

The 48-year-old comedian had called baptism an “opportunity to leave the past behind”, less than a year after a Channel 4 Dispatches documentary exposed allegations of sexual assault against him.

On Wednesday (8 May), Brand shared a photo of him, Grylls and a third man embracing in the water after his baptism. He captioned the post: “Me, Bear Grylls, The River Thames and of course, The Holy Spirit.”

Grylls – who is a devout Christian – confirmed his attendance to the Daily Mail and described assisting in Brand’s baptism as a “privilege” after the comedian’s “tough time”.

“Faith and spiritual moments in our lives are really personal,” he told the publication. “But it is a privilege to stand beside anyone when they express a humble need for forgiveness and strength from above.”

“Friendships when we go through tough times are worth so much,” he added.

In a previous Instagram video, Brand told his followers he felt “incredibly blessed” after his baptism in the River Thames. “I got baptised and it was an incredible, profound experience,” he said. “I’m so grateful to be surrendered in Christ.”

In September last year, a Channel 4 Dispatches and Sunday Times investigation revealed accusations by four women of rape, sexual assault and abuse at the height of Brand’s fame between 2006 and 2013.

According to the investigation, Brand allegedly entered a relationship with one of the women when he was 31 and she was 16. On their first date, she claims he asked her to confirm if she was 16 and said: “I don’t give a f*** if you’re 12 ... I need to know where I stand legally.”

She claims that he sexually assaulted her at his home just before their relationship ended.

'Running Wild: The Challenge With Bear Grylls and Russell Brand' (Nat Geo)
'Running Wild: The Challenge With Bear Grylls and Russell Brand' (Nat Geo)

Brand, who the Metropolitan Police have questioned, has strongly denied all accusations and recently told former Fox News host Tucker Carlson in a YouTube interview that the claims were “very, very hurtful”.

Brand also told Carlson that his infant son was undergoing heart surgery at the time the allegations were exposed.

“I mentioned my son because throughout it I was able to maintain what is really important in life,” he said. “Hurtful as it is to be accused of what I consider to be the most appalling crimes, to be accused of this is very, very painful, and very hurtful.”

He added: “But I am being shown that there are consequences for the rather foolish way that I lived in the past – although of course again to reiterate, due to the nature of the world we live, of course I deny any allegations of the kind that have been advanced.”

Brand and Grylls previously spent time together in 2023 when the comedian appeared on Running Wild with Bear Grylls and the pair hiked across the Hebrides together.

The TV survivalist is an advocate for Christianity and has appeared in promotional videos for the Alpha course, which claims to have recruited 29 million people to the faith.