The Dalai Lama and comedian Russell Brand formed an unlikely double act as an audience of youngsters was enlightened and entertained.

Brand was master of ceremonies at Manchester Arena where the Dalai Lama addressed several thousands youngsters on the theme Century of Dialogue - Stand up and Be the Change.

The funnyman-turned-movie star had said before the event that he presumed he was asked to compere proceedings because they wanted him to be funny.

He did not disappoint the crowd of mainly under-25s - who were given free entry - as he also hosted a question and answer session on stage and obviously created a good impression with the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.

At one point the Dalai Lama playfully tugged Brand's beard on stage as the joker responded: "Not really a lot I can do in a situation like this. I just have to go with it."

The Dalai Lama is on a 10-day tour of Britain with a mission to spread his Buddhist teachings of peace and understanding to youngsters.

Brand introduced the event by saying he had just met him for the first time and found him "amazing". He said: "He is intense and sort of mellow, which is what you expect of someone who meditates five times a day."

Brand told how he had turned to drugs because there was something missing in his life and went on to muse if happiness could be derived from consumerism to Danny Welbeck's winner for England against Sweden on Friday night in the Euro 2012 tournament.

"This person who introduced me is very fit," the Dalai Lama said, "completely informal!"

Brand later quipped: "Did you pick up any spiritual tips?" The Dalai Lama replied: "I think your openness transfers wonderfully."