JOHN McCRIRICK, sports commentator: I remember once my producer interrupting me when I had been prattling on for too long with 'Wrap it up John, your flies are undone.' If Betty Boothroyd had tried that one with Mates it would certainly have stopped him in his tracks.

PATSY RODENBURG, voice coach, National Theatre: Michael Mates was unstoppable - quite relentless, what I would call a bulldozer technique. If someone does that, there is no way you can out-volume them. The only thing Betty Boothroyd could have done was come up underneath him, staying ultra, ultra calm. If a man had been screaming at Michael Mates he might have stopped - depressing, but part of the problem.

ANNA RAEBURN, agony aunt and broadcaster: Normally I let people talk on, there is no position where I would try and silence someone - though once Anthony Clare interrupted me and interrupted me, cut in on me and cut in on me, and there I had to say something. He's a man, he's a Catholic, he's a psychiatrist and thus thinks we should all genuflect to him.

ROSEMARY HOLLIS, sales assistant: Just stand there in total silence and let them talk themselves to a standstill.

JULIE BURCHILL, journalist: To scream at them loudly three times in a row 'Shutup, shutup, shutup]'. If you stamp your foot it's even better. If someone's just talking too much rather than being actively offensive, the best technique is to look at them quizzically, and then look at the person next to you - it has an instant effect.

RICHARD PARTRIDGE, manager, shutter company: If someone's arguing with you in the pub or something, just start agreeing with them very, very loudly, say 'YOU'RE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT, YES, YOU'VE HIT THE NAIL RIGHT ON THE HEAD, YOU'RE SO PERCEPTIVE, I COULDN'T AGREE MORE.' This will embarrass the arguing person and they will subside.

LYNETTE, dental nurse: It's not a profession where we're troubled with gabbers really. Most people are pretty silent when they see the needle or the drill. But in general when people are running on a bit,you just stare at some part of them, perhaps their hair. They get paranoid and rush off to check if something looks wrong.

STEVE, ex-soldier: Shout louder than they do. Failing that, a good poke in the snout.

CLAUDIA McLEOD, teacher: 'Last person talking gets a detention' is quite a good one.

BEDE STOCKILL, Trappist monk: I've no idea.

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