Actor Steve Coogan has become the latest celebrity figure to speak out in the debate over Scotland's future, saying he does not want the country to become independent. The comedian, who created the character Alan Partridge, told former Labour strategy director Alistair Campbell that "insularity isn't good".
In an interview for the August issue of GQ magazine Coogan was asked by Campbell if he cared about the independence referendum, which is taking place on September 18. He responded: "I do. I don't want them to become independent. The reason I don't like Ukip is because I think we should be pro-European, a more not less cohesive world. Insularity isn't good."
Campbell has previously interviewed Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond for the same magazine, with the SNP leader sparking when he said he admired ''certain aspects'' of Russian president Vladimir Putin. Coogan said there was a "tsarism" about Putin's behaviour that he found "deeply unsavoury" adding: "Like many people who are too powerful there is a bullying side to him."
The actor's remark's come the day after Canadian comedian Mike Myers told the BBC he hoped Scotland would ''remain part of Britain''. A spokesman for the pro-independence Yes Scotland campaign said: "Like Steve Coogan, we are pro-European, and the only way Scotland is certain to remain part of the European Union is to vote Yes. Westminster is dancing to Ukip's tune, and the Tories are threatening to drag us out of Europe with their planned in/out referendum in 2017."
He added: "Everybody, including Steve Coogan, is entitled to his or her view about Scotland's future - and of course Elaine C Smith, Alan Cumming, Alex Norton, Lou Hickey, Brian Cox, Ken Stott, Angus MacFadyen and Sean Connery are just some of those supporting a Yes vote."
A spokesman for the pro-UK Better Together campaign said: "It's clear that independence doesn't hit the back of the net for Steve Coogan. It's no surprise that he rejects the division and grievance of nationalism, for the unity and strength of the UK.