Steve Coogan has said he “totally” understands why the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have decided to spend less time in the UK.
The actor and comedian added that he has a “great deal of sympathy” for the couple over their treatment by the media.
Coogan has been a longstanding critic of certain sections of the media and was a core participant at the Leveson inquiry into press standards.
He told the PA news agency: “I’m not a royalist but Prince Harry didn’t choose his role, it was thrust upon him, so I have a great deal of sympathy for them.
“On a human level, of course, I’m sympathetic of their treatment.
“The press need to create a soap opera so they can create a narrative that hurts people to sell newspapers, and that was always the way.
“I have more sympathy for those people who don’t have any resources and find themselves being dragged into stories by the press just to sell newspapers, and they are powerless and they don’t have the resources to take legal action.”
Harry and Meghan have clashed regularly with the press, and launched legal action against the Mail on Sunday.
Coogan, who was speaking at a screening of his new film Greed in central London, also said his political campaigning during the election had proven fruitless.
The Alan Partridge star had urged people to “vote smart and box clever” to keep the Conservatives out of power in the December election.
On Thursday he said: “Whenever I get into a political campaign, whoever I back always loses.
“I should have endorsed Boris Johnson, if I’d done that maybe he would have lost.”
Greed is released in UK cinemas on February 21.