Comedian Russell Brand to return as MTV music awards host

NEW YORK Tue Jul 14, 2009 12:49pm EDT

NEW YORK (Reuters) - British prankster Russell Brand will host the MTV Video Music Awards again this year, MTV said on Tuesday.

The flamboyant 34-year-old comedian, actor, radio and television presenter will return as the host of the awards that will air live from stages set up around New York, including Radio City Music Hall, on September 13, the cable channel said in a news release.

Brand hosted the MTV Video Music Awards last year, raising eyebrows by describing then U.S. President George W. Bush as a "retarded country fella" and ridiculing oaths of virginity undertaken by teen idols the Jonas Brothers.

MTV said this year's awards would include performances by U.S. country pop singer Taylor Swift and British rockers Muse.

Brand was forced to quit BBC radio last year after taking part in lewd prank calls to "Fawlty Towers" actor Andrew Sachs on one of the British broadcaster's radio shows.

Brand has already successfully branched out into the United States, including releasing his autobiography "My Booky Wook" and acting in Hollywood films including a role in the 2008 romantic comedy "Forgetting Sarah Marshall."

(Reporting by Christine Kearney)