SIR JOHN HARVEY JONES: I never have been. If necessary, I've always been able and willing to resign or move on.

DICKIE BIRD, cricket umpire: I've been a slave to cricket since I was a schoolboy. I signed to Yorkshire at 19 and have been living out of a suitcase ever since. Cricket's the reason I never married. I could never have been fair to a woman as I'm never at home.

TANYA COHEN, student: I'm a slave to the planets. When Mercury starts going backwards - which happens about twice a year for three weeks - my ability to communicate goes up the spout. I miss trains, everything goes out of synch.

DANIEL MASSEY, actor: I'm a slave to passion - a passionate desire to understand, a passionate curiosity. If you have a passion for something, you are more likely to move the mountain you want to move.

LESLEY GARRETT, opera singer: Yes, to Test cricket and Cadbury's chocolate eggs.

PHIL RANDALL, computer marketing manager: I was once enslaved to a Lancia convertible. I had only had it for 400 miles when I wrapped it round a lamp-post at 70mph. I completely smashed my ankle - there's a metal bolt in it now - but I still staggered 200 yards back down the road to retrieve the bumper.

PENNY SMITH, GMTV presenter: I get up at 4am so I'm a slave to my alarm clock and eye drops.

MAX CLIFFORD, publicist: I'm a slave first and foremost to my family - I've got to say that with my wife and daughter here in front of me. I'm totally devoted as well to hedonistic pleasures. And I'm a slave to my clients. I will only represent people I like, so I want to do my best for them.

MARY DOHERTY, residential home staff nurse: My job is exhausting physically and mentally, but I wouldn't say I'm a slave to it. Our patients are elderly and can get confused and abusive. You have to give all of yourself to your job, and provide as much care as if they were a baby.

CHARLIE KIMBER, deputy editor, Socialist Worker: I'm a slave to the system. I want a society run by ordinary people where slavery is abolished.

REBECCA, schoolgirl: Definitely. I do babysitting for pounds 2 an hour. Last time I went, the little boy threw up and I had to clean it all up. Then his granny made me get her medicine at 2am. If you count that I was woken up all night I only got pounds 1 an hour.

JAMES MOORE, surveyor: I'm a slave to cigarettes. I went to a dinner party last week in a no-smoking household and spent all night sitting in their horrible backyard puffing away by myself.

CLEM, Big Issue vendor: I have no possessions and no responsibilities. Being homeless I don't have to answer to anyone else as a superior. I wouldn't want to be like this forever, but at least I'm not a slave to anyone.

(Photograph omitted)

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