Overheard

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We all have reasons to be bitter, but it doesn't sound good in print. I've been lied to, betrayed a lot, and had some ghastly times. People can learn from me. Even if it's only what not to do.

Christopher Lee, veteran actor, Radio Times

Just a small one for my first novel. But one must not be bitter. It just means you are not easily assimilated, that you are not part of the circus.

Fellow stoic Martin Amis (whose last book was sold by Waterstone's as 'The Booker Bridesmaid'), asked how many prizes he has won, Le Figaro

Mark Lamarr called me moody, but I'm not moody. Anyway, he can talk - he's ugly!

Ulrika Jonsson, television personality, Mirror

It's a relief after people always asking me what the weather's going to be like.

Jonsson, on being called Ulrik-k-ka, ibid

I can't think of a single European director who has gone to Hollywood and done better work than they did in Europe.

Ken Loach, film director, Daily Telegraph

It is a very good thing to live in a world where there are bookshop assistants who like books, rather than a world where assistants don't care whether they are selling books or cornflakes.

Tom Stoppard defends the Net Book Agreement in the High Court

We face a great crisis of literacy in this country. You see it everywhere, even in court people can't string two sentences together.

Auberon Waugh, writer and NBA champion, to the judges of the High Court

Drawing is comfort, like sucking your thumb or a rocking motion. I even groan while I draw, it satisfies me deeply.

Paula Rego, artist, Daily Telegraph

One time, Sting's wife Trudi took me aside and explained, very carefully, that they had a really wonderful relationship. I didn't know what to think.

Suzanne Vega, singer- songwriter, Time Out

Boris Karloff told me, 'You have to make your mark in something other actors cannot, or will not, do and if it's a success you'll not be forgotten. The name of the game is survival.

Christopher Lee - still best-known for his Hammer Dracula - ibid

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