(AFP) – Oct 22, 2007
LONDON (AFP) — Ewan McGregor said he is sick of Britain's "ludicrous nanny state" rules, which he said might force him to quit the country, in an interview to be published Tuesday.
Health and safety regulations were becoming "insane", the 36-year-old film star told the weekly Radio Times magazine.
The Scottish actor, who played the young Obi-Wan Kenobi in the most recent Star Wars trilogy, blasted the rise of security cameras and London's congestion charge, which forces drivers to pay to enter the city centre.
McGregor recently completed a 15,000-mile (24,000-kilometre) motorcycle adventure, riding the length of Africa with best friend and fellow actor Charley Boorman.
"Our trip opened my eyes to how insane the rules are in Britain -- CCTV cameras everywhere, congestion charge -- a ludicrous nanny state.
"If anything drives me out of the country it will be that -- not tax, I don't earn enough."
When Daniel Craig was unveiled as the new James Bond actor in October 2005, he was forced to wear a life jacket as he sped through London on a boat up the River Thames.
It was somewhat out of keeping for the daredevil fictional British spy, in a press call stunt widely acknowledged as having backfired.
"It's not his fault. He's doing what he's told," McGregor groaned.
"Today, health and safety are out of control. In Africa, garage attendants smoked as they filled the bikes. I took great pleasure in that."
McGregor has starred in "Trainspotting" (1996), "A Life Less Ordinary" (1997), "Rogue Trader" (1999), "Moulin Rouge!", "Black Hawk Down" (2001), and "Miss Potter" (2006).
He made the first of three outings as Kenobi in 1999 in "Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace".
McGregor and Boorman rode from John O'Groats, Britain's most northerly settlement, to Cape Agulhas, the southern tip of South Africa, for a BBC television series.
The Scot said he was touched by the kindness offered to him in Africa.
"People are nice to us because we're travellers, and the most generous and happiest are often those who have the least, whereas in Britain we're devastatingly depressed, yet have so much," McGregor said.
Boorman added: "We never got fed up with each other, but sometimes I couldn't stand the smell after a few days without a shower."
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