There was a moment when I thought Brand might choke

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CLIVE SMITH: I need to do some work on my hurdling technique

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Russell Brand’s appearance before the Home Affairs Select Committee to discuss the perils of illegal drugs turned out to be a virtuoso performance in the use of the glottal stop.

This trendy affectation (Tony Blair still deploys it when the occasion demands) means the letter ‘t’ is pronounced from the back of the throat rather than the roof of the mouth.

It is a spin-off of estuary English, so Brand (who is an Essex boy) has an excuse for being so irritating.

But the glottal stop can be difficult to sustain throughout an entire conversation.

Indeed, there was a moment during his pronunciation of the word ‘legislative’ when I became extremely concerned that Brand was going to choke to death on his own phlegm.

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