Steve Coogan: I won’t let the phone hacking investigation die

Actor and comedian reveals his reasons for continuing to pursue the News of the World

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Steve Coogan says he is as determined as ever not to let the News of the World escape punishment over the phone hacking scandal.

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Coogan was among the first to initiate investigations into allegations that the paper was involved in the illegal practice.

And, speaking to James Robinson in Media Guardian, he said “[The News of the World are hoping] there will be some big disaster or something that’ll knock it off the front pages and hopefully no one will care any more. And I will do everything in my power [to prevent that].”

The actor and comedian – best known for creating comic character Alan Partridge – said he would continue using his public profile to ensure the investigation did not peter out.

“Because I’m a more populist person and I reach a more generalised audience that goes beyond broadsheets I can help keep it in the popular imagination and I will do everything in my power to keep it in the popular imagination.”

Coogan’s initial involvement in the investigation came after he was tipped off that details of his private life printed in News of the World stories had come from phone hacking. But he says he now has other motivations for continuing his pursuit of the tabloid.

“What motivated me was seeing Andy Coulson [the former editor of the News of the World] gaining a modicum of respectability standing next to David Cameron [after being made the Prime Minister’s head of communications].

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“I remember thinking ‘Andy Coulson should not be at the heart of power’. That was my gut instinct. That man shouldn’t be there.”