POWYS is often a hot spot for a bit of celebrity spotting, and this week has proved no different with comedian Russell Brand seen passing through the Elan Valley.

The 46-year-old comedian, actor, radio DJ, writer and activist happily posed for a photo and stopped to chat with locals while shopping for essentials in Rhayader as he passed through on his way to North Wales for a family holiday.

He even reportedly trusted one local with his dog, believed to be a German Shepherd called Bear, while he went into a local shop for supplies.

“He was a real pleasant, friendly guy,” said William ‘Wiz’ Davies, a Rhayader town councillor, who posted a picture of himself and Brand on the Cwmdauddwr common and district Facebook group.

“I met him in Daisy Powell’s the newsagent in West Street. He was in there buying goods. Apparently, he's on holiday, touring Wales. He was then heading off to north Wales.”

One lady, who wished not to be named, said Brand – who was married to singer Katy Perry from 2010 to 2012 – told her he was picking up his wife and children before continuing on with their Welsh holiday.

“I had a chat with him,” said the local shop owner. “He was passing through.

“It was really just a quick hello, apparently he'd stopped by on his way to north Wales, he stopped at some shops, someone held his dog while he shopped and then he was going to get his wife and kids from the Groe then off to north Wales.”

Since 2015, Brand has been in a relationship with Scottish blogger and former restaurateur Laura Gallacher, whom he had dated off and on since 2007.

Gallacher is the sister of television presenter Kirsty Gallacher. The couple were married in Henley-on-Thames, where they live with their two daughters, Mabel and Peggy, in 2017.

Rhayader itself has been something of a hot spot for celebrities over the last decade or so. Iconic Baywatch and Knight Rider star David Hasselhoff visited in 2019.

Celebrity couple Joe Swash and Stacey Solomon – both past winners of I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! – also holidayed in the Elan Valley last year, while Four Weddings and a Funeral icon Hugh Grant enjoyed a goat’s cheese ciabatta and happily chatted and posed for photographs with staff at Ty Morgans Guesthouse on East Street when he visited Rhayader back in 2013, while driving around the Elan Valley in his Aston Martin.