MELVYN BRAGG, writer and television presenter: During the holidays I worked at a local lemonade factory. I used to go out to neighbouring villages delivering the lemonade with a man called Wally.

HELEN LEDERER, comedienne: I worked as a pedestrian counter for Haringey council's Highways Department. This involved getting up at the crack of dawn with counter and clipboard in hand, standing on a designated road counting people as they crossed. I must have been good because I was asked to organise the other counters and had to direct them to their spots. God knows why because my sense of direction is dire at the best of times.

IAN McEWAN, writer: I was a film extra in Oh, What a Lovely War which was filmed in Brighton in the summer of '68. I made a real fortune, over pounds 1,000. I was also an extra in The Saint. I was the foot that stood on Roger Moore's towel as he chatted up a bimbo on a pretend beach in a huge Elstree studio. It was the nearest I ever got to babe heaven.

JEAN BROOM, housing officer: I've done so many student jobs, all of them terrible. The smelliest was when I worked in a jellied eel stall outside the Goat pub in Carlshalton. The hours were lousy but I used my wages to save up to get my first ever perm.

RABBI HUGO GRYN: I come from a poor family so I had to work nights in a laboratory doing tests. During the summer I was director of a student summer camp in America. I worked very hard and I could earn just enough to put me through college for the year.

KELLY TANK, receptionist: I worked in an electronics factory soldering components on to circuit boards for 12 hours a day. Nobody spoke to us, even during breaks, because we were temps and earned more money than the permanent staff - it was a nightmare.

CANON DOMINIC WALKER, vicar of Brighton: I worked as a lorry driver for WH Smith for a while, I enjoyed being out and about. It was very good for someone like me who had been to a public school and come from a very middle-class background to see how the other half lives. I think everyone should be made to do it.

DESMOND MORRIS, anthropologist: The only way I earned money when I was a student was from painting. I had my first exhibition in London in 1950 and I managed to sell a couple. It was my dream to become a painter but I soon realised that I wouldn't earn enough to make a living so I carried on with a scientific career.

JOHN MARRAY, solicitor: The worst student job I had was stacking shelves for my local Sainsbury's. An assistant manager with milk bottle glasses and a humungous boil on the back of his neck told me off for being unhygienic because I hadn't shaved for a day.

JANE BRAND, theatrical agent: During term time I worked one night selling cinema tickets in Oxford. The money came in handy but the main reasons I did it was I could watch the the latest films for free.

DON FOSTER, Liberal Democrat Education Spokesman: I've done a stack of jobs from operating a pea cleaning machine to filling plastic teddy bears with foul smelling bubble bath. The one I enjoyed the most was as a bus conductor for Midland red buses. We went all over the place and the money wasn't bad either.

DAVID GILHOOLY, dentist: I mostly did building work during the holidays. I remember I worked for one building firm extending a local church. It involved digging up part of the graveyard. The worst part was the coffins full of bones and nasty smelling water.