Steve Coogan - Steve Coogan: 'I Was Flattered By Phone Hacking'19 March 2013
Actor/funnyman Steve Coogan felt "flattered" when he discovered his cell phone messages had been hacked into on behalf of a tabloid newspaper.
The British star has been one of the leading lights in a campaign for harsher regulations governing the U.K. media after he was told his voicemail had been accessed by a private investigator working for the News of the World.
Coogan and other stars including Hugh Grant and J.K. Rowling were celebrating on Monday (18Mar13) when Prime Minister David Cameron announced a new independent governing body for the press, backed by a powerful Royal Charter.
Now Coogan has admitted he was not completely outraged when he found out he had been targeted by the mass-circulation newspaper, which has since been shut down.
He tells BBC Radio 5 Live, "What's it like to have your phone hacked? It's quite flattering in a way, but you see, in another way... To me, it's very simple - (fighting this case) is standing up to the school bully... It's not very nice (to be hacked)."
Coogan also welcomed the new legislation introduced by Cameron, branding it a "historic" announcement.
He adds, "It's a first step and it's a strong, solid first step but beyond that we can't take our eye off the ball. It's an historic (sic) first step and it's important... It lays the foundation for a new chapter. Basically the press will be curtailed from their worst excesses, but in actual fact those men of the press who are engaged in public interest journalism will be protected and enabled by the new mechanism...
"The repercussions of what has been achieved and how it's implemented will sort of echo for generations to come."