ARTS / Overheard

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The Independent Culture
We all know that people with very meagre talents can become household names by appearing on television.

Noel Edmonds, household name, Daily Telegraph

For a long time I couldn't get on The Big Breakfast with Paula Yates because I wasn't on the A-list. When Hugh Whatsisname from Four Weddings dropped out, they knew they could get Follett.

Ken Follett, novelist, Times

I changed my accent because I was surrounded by people from the Home Counties who would have laughed at me . . . It would have been impossible to get anywhere with a Black Country voice - not just in TV. One was rejecting one's roots a bit and it was sad, but necessary. My inferiority complex about it is still very strong.

Sue Lawley, broadcaster, Radio Times

This year, I won a Sony Award. Surprise, surprise, my management neither passed on an invitation to the Awards lunch, nor told me I had won.

Mark Tully, on resigning as the BBC's India correspondent, Daily Mirror

The sentiments that I express are somehow illuminated by the mood that Chateau Latour '82 produces in a penitent heart.

Leonard Cohen, singer, Sunday Telegraph

When people look at me like I'm this really rich, pampered, privileged person - I am.

Winona Ryder, actress, Premiere (UK)

Barry never smiles.

Paul Usher, Brookside's Barry Grant, on being asked to smile for a photo-shoot, Loaded

There's a dread in the office when you hear the words 'and now with me live is the Health Secretary'. You think: 'Oh no, not again.'

James Naughtie, presenter, on Virginia Bottomley's habit of inviting herself on the Today show, London Evening Standard

What the hell am I on about?

Mick Jagger, singer, in mid-interview, to Adrian Deevoy of Q No idea. Deevoy's reply