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Leveson Inquiry: Steve Coogan To Speak Out Over Tabloid Practices

22/11/2011 11:49 | Updated 22 November 2011

Comedian Steve Coogan has arrived at the Royal Courts of Justice to give evidence to the press standards inquiry.

The Leveson Inquiry will also hear testimony from former Premiership footballer Garry Flitcroft, supermodel Elle Macpherson's former business adviser Mary-Ellen Field and Margaret Watson, whose daughter Diane was stabbed to death at her Glasgow school.

The parents of murdered teenager Milly Dowler were the first witnesses to give evidence to the inquiry on Monday.

The trigger for the inquiry, before Lord Justice Leveson, was the disclosure that the now-defunct News of the World commissioned private detective Glenn Mulcaire to hack Milly's phone after she disappeared in 2002.

As well as listening to the schoolgirl's voicemails, the investigator is alleged to have deleted some of them to make room for new messages, falsely leading her family to believe she was still alive.

Mulcaire, who yesterday denied having done this, was jailed along with the News of the World's former royal editor Clive Goodman in January 2007 after they admitted intercepting voicemail messages left on phones belonging to royal aides.

Actor Hugh Grant also gave evidence to the inquiry on Monday, and suggested that the Mail on Sunday had hacked his phone before printing a "bizarre, left-field" story. The newspaper issued a strong denial on Monday night, saying that information had instead come from a freelance journalist.

Grant said the story claimed that his relationship with then-girlfriend Jemima Khan was on the rocks because of his "late night phone calls with a plummy-voiced studio executive".

He said the story was untrue and he had not been able to think "for the life of me" what the source of the story could be.

The newspaper's spokesman said: "The Mail on Sunday utterly refutes Hugh Grant's claim that they got any story as a result of phone hacking. In fact in the case of the story Mr Grant refers to, the information came from a freelance journalist who had been told by a source who was regularly speaking to Jemima Khan."

22/11/2011 15:43 GMT

Leveson Inquiry closes for the day

Steve Coogan was the last witness for Tuesday. Tomorrow the Inquiry will hear from Sheryl Gascoigne, Gerry McCann, Mark Lewis and Tom Rowland, starting at 10am.

22/11/2011 15:37 GMT

Coogan: This is not the Steve and Hugh Show

In a final comment, Coogan tells Leveson why he (and Hugh Grant) have given evidence:"This is not the Steve and Hugh show. We're here because someone has to represent all those other people who haven't the stomach to be here...Of course, there is a personal element to it but it's not just about us, it's about other people."

22/11/2011 15:34 GMT

Coogan calls for meaningful punishment of the press

"Transgressions [by the media] need to be punished meaningfully. Some newspapers... can afford to take the hit."

22/11/2011 15:33 GMT

Coogan believes outside press regulation needed

"I wish there was no need for regulation outside of the press. I wish the press were able to regulate themselves but they have been given many opportunities and failed. If they had a Damascene conversion and behaved themselves that would be great, but I think that's me being naive again."

22/11/2011 15:29 GMT

Coogan talks of Daily Mail interview

@ Selkie :

Coogan talking about interview, published by the Daily Mail, he gave to a journalist who is a friend of his #leveson

22/11/2011 15:15 GMT

Coogan's views on privacy

Coogan made his position on privacy clear to Piers Morgan. He adds that he hasn't pursued some claims becasue he doesn't want to expend all his energy on such things. Also, the system of redress - legal action - is expensive. No confidence in the PCC's effectiveness either particularly when Paul Dacre, editor of the Daily Mail, sits on the Commission.

22/11/2011 15:07 GMT

Coogan discusses interview with Piers Morgan

Piers Morgan interviewed Coogan for GQ, Jan 2006, that was reprinted in 2011 to commemorate release of Alan Partridge memoirs. The interview was held in an 'excruciatingly trendy club in Soho'. "Yes, he chose the venue," Coogan jokingly replies to Jay.

22/11/2011 14:59 GMT

Coogan and article in Sunday Times

Coogan disappointed about interview with him in the Sunday Times. Hoped a more serious newspaper would have given a better impresison of him. Says he was 'naive' to think so. Also, upset about a picture of him and his children that accompanied the article.

22/11/2011 14:50 GMT

Coogan taslks about publicity appearances

Coogan discloses that he tries to "avoid publicity as much as possible" but has a publicist to help with appearances that may be contractually required. Repeats that he doesn't appear on panel shows, etc.

22/11/2011 14:48 GMT

Coogan: "My closet is empty of skeletons"

Coogan a 'little' concerned about giving evidence to Leveson because of possible consequences from the media. Other celebrities also 'fear what will happen' if they give evidence, he says, before adding that "my closet is empty of skeletons", so has less to fear.

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