*sigh* Russell... dont curb yourself...

Russell Brand took a measured swipe at Andrew Sachs's granddaughter while testing out new comedy material in Los Angeles last night, but for the most part stumbled and stuttered through a very toned down act.

Performing at the Largo Coronet Theatre in West Hollywood – his first show since the Radio 2 scandal broke – he said: 'Burlesque and erotica – I've been rethinking it of late,' referring to Georgina Baillie's profession as a burlesque dancer and glamour model.

Brand and fellow DJ Jonathan Ross left messages on Sachs' answerphone claiming Brand had slept with his granddaughter.


Brand appeared nervous and when heckled by a member of the largely American audience about the incident and he refused to be drawn, just commenting: 'It's too soon to talk about that.'

During the show he accidentally broke a stool and dropped his microphone, which only made him appear more anxious.

Brand's shows are renowned for their risqué jokes and overtly sexual tone but he seemed determined to avoid anything too explicit.

Once the show finished he left the stage and the building immediately. At previous stand up dates in LA he has mingled with the crowd, posed for photos and encouraged female admirers to approach him after performing.


Much of the controversial comic's new material covered his role as presenter at this year's MTV VMA awards in Los Angeles.

Brand referred to it as his 'last national scandal but one' due to the criticism he garnered over jokes about George Bush and Disney boy band, The Jonas Brothers, and said when he wrote the script he was trying his 'hardest not to cause any bother'.

Brand's performance at the VMAs made headlines for calling George W Bush 'that retarded cowboy' and joking about The Jonas Brothers decision to remain virgins until marriage.

Brand stopped the show at one point to ask if the crowd thought his jokes about Britney Spears were too rude. He said he had to stop himself from asking her why she'd shaved her head.

Since the scandal broke, Brand has been seeking comfort in a new female companion - 22-year-old model and dancer Sydney Jo Jackson.

Friends of Sydney say she is 'desperate for fame' and has previously dated grime MC Lethal Bizzle.

A source said: 'She just wants to be famous, and while she genuinely likes Russell, none of her friends are surprised she's gone for him.

'They have been dating for about five weeks. They met through a mutual friend, and Syd also went to a casting of a Channel 4 show that Russell is involved in.'

If Sydney is looking to get into the spotlight, it seems to be working. She was pictured several times leaving Russell's north London pad in the wake of the scandal.

On a talent website, Sydney writes: 'I'm a professional model/actress/dancer and singer from Birmingham originally, now based in north London.'

Friends say she is naturally cautious over his lothario reputation, and the friend added: 'She's pretty keen, but she's a smart girl and is aware of his past.'

Earlier this year, Russell told us he was considering marrying his then-girlfriend Teresa Palmer, only to break up with her in September.


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