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If anyone sends me a card with a robin on it I'll never speak to them again. It is strange that such an aggressive creature has come to symbolise the season of goodwill.

Margaret Cook, wife of the Foreign Secretary

I made a formal statement to Tony expressing our feelings of remorse and heartfelt apology for the tremendous damage and suffering of that time.

Ryutaro Hashimoto, the Japanese prime minister, writing in the 'Sun'

Frank remained convinced that the sound of laughter is an offer of comfort to our fellow creatures. This is an attitude so removed from current wisdom that it makes him a true exponent of alternative comedy.

Denis Norden on Frank Muir William is learning the lessons of this episode and he has my support in doing so.

Jack Straw, after his son, William, was cautioned

Despite some of the lofty arrogant comments over the last few weeks from obscure broadsheet columnists depicting me as a manipulative bimbo, I will continue with my investigations.

Dawn Alford, 'Mirror' reporter who exposed William Straw

To publicly humiliate me by putting me in the stocks so that a bunch of second-rate actors can hurl their moral squibs at me is beyond redemption.

Steven Berkoff's response to an outcry that he broke an Equity strike

I can take a whack. I can handle being thumped, kicked or even stamped on. But this? I do not understand this.

Simon Fenn, the London Scottish player, after losing a chunk of his ear against Bath

Everything written about this book has been based on the assumption it is authorised. It is not. On events that have got all the publicity, I have always refused to talk and won't talk.

Gordon Brown's response to suggestions that he was unfairly beaten by Blair in the leadership contest

Even our national heroes cannot be allowed to fall below accepted standards of probity when they enter the business world.

Nigel Griffiths, competition and consumer affairs minister, on Terry Venables

European integration is not the means to achieve the security of our continent. It is the wrong route.

Michael Portillo fights back

When I look at the welfare state, I don't see a pathway out of poverty ... I see a dead end for too many people. I want to clear the way to a new system.

Tony Blair

The most odious man I have ever met.

Richard Branson describing Guy Snowden, whom he accuses of trying to bribe him

He is evading capture at the moment. He is lying under a fir tree in Mr Clarke's garden. The second pig's whereabouts are not known.

Police spokesman on the hunt to catch the elusive Tamworth Two, Thursday