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I used cocaine basically for sex. My sexual fantasies were all played out while I was on cocaine . . . I had no problem with the old fellow actually on coke. A lot of people do. One bit of cocaine and it disappears up the old whatsit. But it made me insatiable for sex.

Elton John, pop star, recalls a drug-filled past, Q

Sometimes when I'm flying over the Alps, I think, that's like all the cocaine I sniffed.

Elton John, ibid.

I found it odd that people were reading aubergines and burning books . . . All religions have daft bits to them.

Hanif Kureishi, writer, on Islamic fundamentalism, Guardian

And then there was my baggage, as Hemingway might have said: the dotty hit-list that is every writer's secret bigotry. My aesthetic loathing of the present Tory cabinet, for instance, like a loathing of hair-oil or radio sermons, each and every member of it.

John le Carr on the motivation behind a recent trip to Russia, Observer

Tracking down killers and their victims and persuading them to talk was the hardest task. Himmler's adjutant put his hand on the knee of our researcher, a blue-eyed blonde, and said: `My dear, we used to breed from women like you.' She kept her cool and got the interview.

Jeremy Isaacs recalls the making of The World at War, Daily Telegraph

It hasn't changed so much, but when you see this show called Don't Forget Your Toothbrush, I think I'd gladly say that this is the arsehole of comedy. I wouldn't say comedians are doing anything very original . . . Look at Drop the Dead Donkey, it's just words, words, words, words.

Spike Milligan, veteran comic, on the changing face of comedy, The Oldie

You're not going to get a gay junkie starring in the next three Spielberg films. But a gay junkie could be a very successsful fashion designer or top model.

Rupert Everett, a star of Robert Altman's Prt--Porter, on the difference between Hollywood and high fashion, Time Out