Russell Brand has spent the last week or so flirting his way through Australia. If you are unsure who he is (where have you been??) he is the man-who-lost-his-hairbrush-in-1997 who rose to fame by claiming to be a sex addict, sleeping with thousands of women, befriending the likes of Kate Moss, getting Jonathan Ross into trouble with Radio Two and - in between all that - actually being really rather funny.
He came out here with his stand up show and his been mincing through the usual line up of talk-show appearances, radio interviews and parties. Take outs from his interview with Rove ran all (bloomin') week on Channel 10 and the newspapers' gossip pages were filled with accusations that every eligible bachelorette in Sydney has been linked with him. Particularly at risk were politicians daughters it seems.
Anyway, I like Russell Brand and his rather risque humour and have been intruiged by his reception Down Under. Australia likes him. Really likes him. They seem almost caught out by this distinctly unpommy Pom. He is intelligent (all good comedians usually are) and I even find him alarmingly good looking (don't ask me why - as mentioned earlier I am aware of the lack of hairbrushing and am not ignorant to the possible link with other general hygiene).
However one thing hasn't sat right with me, and that is the use of the word "charming" to describe him. A hit with the ladies? Doubtless. Good in bed? Presumably. Cheeky? Of course. But charming?
I (perhaps wrongly) associate charming with gentlemanly behaviour. My grandmother would have said of someone (not him!!) "What a charming man" if they pulled a chair out for her to rest upon while making polite comments about her new lilac hat.
Can a man who texts a woman at 3.15am asking her back to his hotel for what she must certainly know will be anything but gentlemanly shenanigans be charming?
Mulling it over on the weekend I finally today thought to look up the dictionary meaning.
charm⋅ing [chahr-ming]So that must be it. He is a magician weaving his strange spell over the public of Australia. That explains it. Well, good luck to him!
1.Pleasing; delightful: a charming child.
2.Using charm; exercising magic power.