Bear Grylls 'to stand down as chief scout' after he baptised Russell Brand in Thames

Russell Brand’s baptism in the Thames. (Instagram @russellbrand)
Russell Brand’s baptism in the Thames. (Instagram @russellbrand)

Bear Grylls is to leave his role as chief scout following his ‘baptism’ of Russell Brand, according to reports.

A Channel 4 Dispatches documentary last year reported allegations of sexual assault by Brand who is now a YouTuber.

Brand denies all the allegations against him.

Grylls is now standing down as chief scout after pictures emerged of him baptising Brand in the Thames, according to the Daily Mail.

A spokesperson for the Scouting Association told the Independent: “We are extremely proud that Bear Grylls is our chief scout. Bear was the UK’s youngest ever chief scout when he was appointed in 2009, aged 34.

“He remains the public face of the Scouts in the UK. He inspired the movement through a period of unprecedented growth, he’s helped thousands of young people to gain new skills, try new things, and look to the future with optimism.”

They added: “More information will be available later in the year about Bear’s next steps.”

Grylls took up the post in 2020 and said he would remain in the role until at least 2023.

On his appointment he told scouts on a livestream at the time: “I couldn’t be more proud to continue as Chief Scout for at least the next three years, and my hope is that together we can steer and carry Scouting through this tough time and out the other side as a force for good across the whole nation.”

Brand shared a photo of his baptism in the River Thames which features Grylls embracing him in the water.

The friendship apparently started when Brand appeared last year on Running Wild which filmed in the Hebrides.

Brand, 48 later shared a video to social media explaining how Grylls was one of two men who “flanked him” during the baptism ceremony near his home in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire.

He called the baptism an “opportunity to leave the past behind”.

He said in the video: “Week one as a Christian has been amazing.

“The ceremony itself was incredible. I want to thank Bear Grylls and my mate Joe, the two men that stood either side of me and flanked me for the baptism itself.”

At the time Grylls told the Mail helping in Brand’s baptism was a “privilege” after the comedian, actor and broadcaster’s “tough time”.