My joy at now receiving this great new honour is immeasurable.

Elton John, on being told that he would be knighted

I got this rather large white envelope marked On Her Majesty's Service and I thought `Oh, gosh, this is a tax demand.'

DJ Alan `Fluff' Freeman, on receiving notification of his MBE

I put the owl up to stop the pigeons swooping down on the garden. My mum's got a phobia about birds and she daren't go out when they're around.

Martin Ward, cleared of harassment charges after he hung up a one-eyed plastic owl to scare his neighbour's racing pigeons

Why should I do the decent thing and resign? Why don't they give us back our Labour Party? It has been taken over by aliens.

Ken Coates, MEP for Nottinghamshire North and Chesterfield, who threatens to stand as a protest candidate in the 1999 Euro-election

It has been a great experience. I haven't actually done any GCSEs but I will probably do them at some point.

Torcuil Grant, 17, who has circumnavigated the globe in a horse-drawn caravan with his wanderlust parents and two younger sisters

Laurie must have been swept away, for whatever reasons, to write a book that would attract sales. My only regret is that Laurie didn't write it as a novel.

Bill Alexander, former British commander of the International Brigade, on writer Laurie Lee's "pure fantasy" reminiscences of the Spanish Civil War

When it has to, it can exactly reconstruct, down to the minute, who met whom, where and for how long for a confidential tete-a-tete.

Authors of the report `Sonntags Zeitung', which reveals how Swiss police have secretly tracked mobile phone users through a telephone company computer

Mr and Mrs Yu are the nicest of couples ... but it does remain our dearest hope that eventually we can persuade them to reinstate the facade. It is Faversham's equivalent of the return of the Elgin Marbles.

Arthur Percival, director of the Faversham Society, who campaigned to recover a Georgian shopfront from Chicago only to find the Yus, who run a Chinese takeaway, don't want it back

Nearly every book I read was nothing else than what happened in the bedroom. It is just so mucky. There is nothing in them that genuine country people could relate to. We all know what we do in bed.

Doreen West, 78, whose book `Louie - A Country Lady' has sold 500 copies throughout Oxfordshire

No one knows what the job is going to be. I am sure, however, if the job is right - and if it is true the Conservative Party will run a Londonwide primary to choose a candidate - that would be an extremely attractive thing to do. That is the 110 per cent, 18-carat honest answer. I really have not come to a firm conclusion and I don't want to seem to be grand about it.

Chris Patten on whether he would run for mayor of London

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