RUSSELL Brand, the man who went from Hathaway Road to the Hollywood red carpet, made a hero’s return to Thurrock.

The stand-up comedian turned actor was back in Grays on Monday to open a shop for Thurrock Mind, a mental health charity.

He arrived shortly before 4.30pm, greeted by a crowd that had built throughout the afternoon and spent just under an hour meeting and having photos with adoring fans, giving a short speech about mental health and formally declaring Grays’ newest shop open.

Dressed in his trademark drainpipe jeans, a grey T-shirt and blazer, with a West Ham scarf strewn around his neck, Brand met with Thurrock Mind service users, staff and trustees before venturing outside the shop to meet with fans who had been waiting patiently to catch a glimpse of their hero.

En-route to the town, Brand tweeted: “On my way to my home town Grays to see my best to open a Mind Shop - better be a mental health charity, not a brain shop.”

While in the store, Brand was handed a £3.99 pair of skinny jeans by the Mind store manager Sheila Priest. He joking they were too expensive before offering to donate some of his own items to the fledgling store.

**For more on Russell Brand's Thurrock return, pick up a copy of this week's Gazette**