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Russell Brand embraces Bear Grylls as he shares photo from River Thames baptism

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Russell Brand has shared an image from his baptism in the River Thames, in which he is seen embracing Bear Grylls.

The comedian, actor and presenter confirmed that he was “taking the plunge” and “getting baptised” late last month.

“What’s been explained to me is, it’s an opportunity to die and be reborn,” he said at the time. “An opportunity to leave the past behind and be reborn in Christ’s name. Like it says in Galatians: that you can live as an enlightened and awakened person.”

Brand went on to tell his followers that the baptism would be performed in the Thames, and expressed his concerns over “toxoplasmosis and E. coli”. He added: “I may be leaving behind the sins, but I might be picking up some pretty serious viruses.”

The announcement came after Brand was accused of multiple counts of rape, assault and emotional abuse between 2006 and 2013 in a joint investigation between Channel 4, The Times and Sunday Times last September. He has strongly denied all the allegations.

Now, Brand has shared a photo of himself hugging survival expert, adventurer, and TV presenter Grylls in the water after his baptism. The pair are joined in the picture by one of Brand’s friends, Joe.

“Me, Bear Grylls, The River Thames and of course, The Holy Spirit,” Brand captioned the post, adding the hashtag “#baptism”. See it above.

He previously posted a video confirming that Grylls – who is a devout Christian – was one of two men who joined him at the ceremony near Brand’s home in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire.

“Week one as a Christian has been amazing,” Brand told his viewers. “The ceremony itself was incredible. I wanna thank Bear Grylls and my mate Joe – the two men that stood either side of me, and flanked me for the baptism itself.”

In the comments section, Grylls replied: “Was a privilege – we all need friendships, forgiveness, help and strength. Love to your wonderful family.” See the video below.

Speaking to the Mail Online recently, Grylls said it was “a privilege to stand beside anyone when they express a humble need for forgiveness and strength from above”.

He continued: “Friendships when we go through tough times are worth so much.”

Brand explained earlier that he felt “incredibly blessed” after his baptism. “I got baptised and it was an incredible, profound experience,” he said. “I’m so grateful to be surrendered in Christ.”

When announcing his plans to get baptised, Brand told his followers: “People are so cynical about the increasing interest in Christianity and the return to God, but to me, it’s obvious.

“As meaning deteriorates in the modern world, as our value systems and institutions crumble, all of us become increasingly aware that there is this eerily familiar awakening and beckoning figure that we’ve all known all of our lives, within us and around us. And for me, it’s very exciting.”

In March, Channel 4’s chief executive Alex Mahon apologised to a former employee for not properly investigating a “serious” allegation made against Brand in 2009.

A report released by the channel had previously found “no evidence” of Brand’s alleged behaviour on the shows Big Brother’s Big Mouth and Kings Of Comedy, between 2004 and 2007.

Brand addressed the allegations against him in January during an interview with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson, calling them “appalling” and “very, very hurtful”.

He was reportedly questioned by police last November, though he has not been arrested or charged. Earlier that month, Brand was also accused of sexually assaulting an extra on the set of his 2011 film Arthur. He has insisted that his relationships have always been consensual.

For help, advice or more information regarding sexual harassment, assault and rape in the UK, visit the Rape Crisis charity website. In the US, visit RAINN.

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