David Bowie admires the charitable efforts of Irish contemporaries Bono and Bob Geldof, and blames his 'Englishness' for his failure to follow in their footsteps.

Between them, the U2 frontman and Live Aid founder Geldof have devoted time and enthusiasm to humanitarian causes around the world - both performed at the Live Aid concert in 1995 and Bono helped found the Jubilee 2000 campaign to wipe out third world debt.

But Bowie claims he's always been too diplomatic to commit to charitable causes.

He gushes, "Both excellent fellows. Both have a cracking sense of humour and real social idealism. I don't get that. Maybe it's because I'm English.

" 'Why are you doing this? What do you mean, for other people?' I'm being flippant, but they really do have a commitment. And I applaud them because they put themselves on the line all the time, right or wrong.

"I can never make my mind up, I'm so f***ing flippy floppy. I can see both sides of everything and it's really awful.

"I thought that it was a wonderful facility once upon a time, especially for a writer, to be able to do that, but actually as a citizen of anywhere it really isn't a good idea to have."

13/11/2003 21:07