Steve Coogan appears to brand Angelina Jolie’s humanitarian efforts ‘off-putting’ - but Alastair Campbell insists his interview fails to capture tone and context

Updated: Former Director of Communications to Tony Blair blames poor communication in Q&A feature in GQ magazine after actor was criticised

Angelina Jolie’s humanitarian efforts have been the subject of high praise by most of her peers.

Most recently, the actress was honoured with the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the Governor's Ball in November 2013 – a renown accolade she earned for her work as the co-founder of the Prevent Sexual Violence Initiative and as a special envoy for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

But it appeared that not all were as impressed by her charity work in an interview in the latest edition of British GQ magazine. In discussion with Tony Blair’s former Director of Communications Alastair Campbell, Steve Coogan seemed to be labelling efforts like Jolie’s “off-putting".

"Though I have been involved politically, I find people who are in the public eye for something else who suddenly start voicing opinions about everything else quite irritating," Coogan is quoted as saying.

"What? Like Angelina Jolie going out campaigning with William Hague?" Campbell added, referencing Jolie’s tireless campaigning to address the issue of rape in war zones.

"I do find it a bit off-putting," Coogan continued.

Angelina Jolie and William Hague meet the Duchess of Cornwall to discuss their campaign at the British Conflict Rape Summit, June 2014 Angelina Jolie and William Hague meet the Duchess of Cornwall to discuss their campaign at the British Conflict Rape Summit, June 2014

"If you are trying to do something charitable there is always a double-edged sword, because it is good PR for the celebrity.

"Better to do it than not do it, but I have much more respect for a celebrity that goes out [campaigning] about something really difficult."

Video: Angelina Jolie speaks at war zone rape summit

Coogan has faced criticism for the comments, but in a further article on the GQ website, headlined "Alastair Campbell answers his Twitter critics", the former spin doctor insists the printed interview does not accurately represent the tone and context of their conversation. 

“Whilst the printed transcript is accurate in literal terms it does not reflect the fact that I was interjecting some words as an extra question into an answer he was in the middle of giving,” writes Campbell.

“It was I not he who raised Angelina Jolie and William Hague. He was not responding to that second question but continuing his previous answer. So his remarks were not directed towards Angelina Jolie.”

Campbell's 253-word statement on the GQ article is available to read in full here.

Read More: Piers Morgan Brands Coogan A 'Hooker-Loving Wastrel'
Angelina Jolie Accused Of Disrespecting Chinese Sovereignty
Steve Coogan On The Great Scottish Independence Debate

Elsewhere in the interview, Coogan also voiced his opinion on the controversial Scottish Independence debate. His vote in the September referendum, if he had one, would resolutely be a "no".

"I don't want them to become independent," he said. "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."

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

HR Advisor - North London / North West London

£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Advisor - North London...

Finance Manager - Recruitment Business (Media & Entertainment)

£28000 - £32000 per annum + negotiable: Sauce Recruitment: We have an exciting...

HR Advisor - North London / North West London

£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Advisor - North London...

HR Advisor - North London / North West London

£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Advisor - North London...

Day In a Page

Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album
Hugh Bonneville & Peter James: 'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'

How We Met: Hugh Bonneville & Peter James

'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's heavenly crab dishes don't need hours of preparation

Bill Granger's heavenly crab recipes

Scared off by the strain of shelling a crab? Let a fishmonger do the hard work so you can focus on getting the flavours right
Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

After a remarkable conversion from reckless defender to prolific striker, Monaco's ace says he wants to make his loan deal at Old Trafford permanent
Terry Venables: Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England

Terry Venables column

Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England
The Inside Word: Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past

Michael Calvin's Inside Word

Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past