Opinions: Whose private number would you like to get hold of?

RHODA KOENIG, writer: I'd ring Virginia Bottomley to ask where she got her nerve, and call up Richard Gere and ask him if he thinks his recent exploits are good publicity for the Dalai Lama.

CAESAR, disc jockey: I'd like to phone Alan Yentob to say ''please put my show back on BBC 1''. But, most of all, perhaps Princess Di would like a call at home to know that I still love her.

KAREN KRIZANOVICH, agony aunt: Gary Larson, the cartoonist who does The Far Side. I've read he's retiring. I'd call him up and be a real sycophantic fan and say, ''please, please, please don't go away, you can't leave us''. Then he'd probably hang up.

OSCAR WATSON, arts festival director: I'd like Stephen Dorrell's number, he's the Minister for Arts, to ask him why the Government won't fund people to train for the arts. Revenue from the lottery is all very well but we need to support those starting out as well.

SIMON FANSHAWE, comedian: It depends whether I'm in a vengeful or a charming mood. I'd get David Mellor's number and tell him to get a facelift, or Michael Heseltine's and just say ''desist!''.

DONNA BASSON, hair stylist: I would like to get Mother Nature's number and call her to ask for some snow at Christmas. Then I'd call God and ask him if I could win the National Lottery. Even winning just a little money would help, I'm not greedy. I'd tell him that I had been good all year and that I deserved it.

DAVE SHELDON, senior art director of Harry Enfield/Mercury phones ad campaign: Ken Pilton, the lottery winner. I would ask him which numbers he's put on his ticket this week and also, could he lend me pounds 50 until pay day.

JUSTIN GREETHAM, graphics/animation producer: If he were alive, I'd want the number of William Fox Talbot to thank him for developing the term ''photography'' because it's great. I'd tell him I've taken on board his advice about the darkroom and it's working beautifully.

LIZ WOODHEAD, teacher: I'd phone Gillian Shephard and berate her for her policies. The education system is being run appallingly and we're like lambs to the slaughter.

JASON WHITE, mobile phone salesman: I'd like Claudia Schiffer's telephone number. If she answered I'd say, ''Can I come round?''

SARAH ALLCOCK, advertising manager: I'd love to ring up Pierce Brosnan but I don't know if I would have the guts. I think I'd ask him to marry me straight away.

TONY KING, company director: Bill Clinton, to say sorry to hear things aren't working out too well at the moment, shame about the health reforms.

ANNABEL McKINNON, housewife: I'd ring Geoff Hamilton and ask if he could tell me what's wrong with my Forsythia.

STEVE, barman: I would love to phone the Chancellor of the Exchequer, cos he's putting 16p on a packet of cigarettes and I want to know why.

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