Comedian Steve Coogan has told the Leveson Inquiry into media standards that reporters often rifle through his bins looking for stories. The Alan Partridge star has often been the subject of tabloid interest, but claimed he had made no "Faustian pact" with the press and claimed he never sought fame.
According to the Press Association, the actor and comedian told inquiry chairman Lord Justice Leveson, "I have never wanted to be famous, as such - fame is a by-product.Me, myself, personally, I like to keep myself private. I have never said I am a paragon of virtue, a model of morality. I simply do what I do". Coogan has often found himself in the tabloids for his alleged drug use and raucous lifestyle, but the 46-year-old exaplined, "One could argue that there are those who make their career out of being famous and those people do enter into a Faustian pact, where they use the press to raise their profile. They exploit the press for their own ends.They are in the fame game". Recalling some of his encounters with the press, Coogan described a sinister episode in which a journalist telephoned the late great-grandmother of his daughter pretending to be conducting a council survey, saying, "They claimed to be from the council doing a survey and started to ask more and more questions pertinent to me.At that point she said, 'Are you from the gutter press?".
The actor, who is currently working on an Alan Partridge feature film, said he was often under surveillance, with photographs sitting outside his flat and reporters occasionally going through his rubbish bins.