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Just because our music sounds quite mellow at first, people seem to think, 'Ah we'll play that when we're having friends round for a fondue night'.

Geoff Barrow, of Portishead, defends their music, Daily Telegraph

I couldn't think of anything worse than being tied up and beaten by Mistress Raven, frankly.

Nick Broomfield on the dominatrix he filmed in his documentary Fetishes, Independent

There's nothing like years to make you wiser, calmer and more patient.

Sharon Stone, actress, Guardian

He was a very insecure little man. You had to hold his hand and say, yes, yes, you can do it.

Val Guest, director, on Woody Allen, who stars in his film Casino Royale, Independent

There were these two huge pigs walking through Cork, picking up the General Post Office and eating it, and it being shat out of their bums.

Edna Walsh, dramatist, on the dream that inspired Disco Pigs, the surprise smash hit at the Edinburgh Festival, Independent

I want to kick music's arse into a new milieu of audience interest. Music's total, not categorised in boxes. It's a set of universal truths, from rap to Telemann.

Charles Hazlewood, TV director, on Jonathan Miller's Opera Works, Time Out

I had a crush on King Kong - he was my first love.

Jennifer Ehle, actress, Guardian

A lot of kids write to me today saying they need money for college and I feel so patronising, but I reply they should do it on their own. It is more character-building and makes you a better actor. You have to want it with all your heart.

Nigel Hawthorne, Radio Times

Why is it presumed that only men like to look at women's bodies? Women spend so much time ogling other women's bodies in magazines like Vogue. People need to wank. It's just that the sophisticated tosser reads something like GQ.

Tracy Emin, young British artist, Select

As much as I want to blame the press, we all have blood on our hands. All of us, even myself. I bought those magazines and I read them. Until we no longer feel that it is our right to read about people's private lives, and until we lose our fascination with scandal and sensational journalism; we are never going to act. It is all our faults.

Madonna, Times

Teaching is the final goal of an Indian musician's life. It is not the same in the west. For us, talent is something that is given to you by your guru and worked at over many years. There are many who are like parrots and sing and perform all there lives that which they have learnt. Then there are creative people who go on adding to it with new ideas and have the ability to pass it on."

Sitar player Ravi Shankar, Times

Thanks to the BBC we are now one of the most musically active, musically literate countries in the world. Why can the same not be done for literature and the arts?

Melvyn Bragg, Times

There's nothing like years to make you wiser, calmer and more patient.

Sharon Stone on her new-found calm. The Guardian (Fri)

When I came to Europe to promote Evita, I was in Rome and the paparazzi didn't even give me time to strap my baby into the car. We were driving at about 90 miles per hour, and we were being followed, and flanked and surrounded.

OK, so if there weren't such large offers of money, then these people wouldn't go to such extremes to take the pictures. Then you have to look at the editors and ask who is responsible for this. But even that does not dig deep enough. As much as I want to blame the press, we all have blood on our hands. All of us, even myself. I bought those magazines and I read them. Until we no longer feel that it is our right to read about people's private lives, and until we lose our fascination with scandal and sensational journalism; we are never going to act. It is all our faults.

Madonna, Times

I think we all have to look at what part we play, our choice of newspapers or magazines. I think now we probably all just wish we had said to Princess Diana: 'Good luck to you. You were 18 when you were dumped in this mess but somehow you managed to turn yourself into someone positive, sensitive, chaotic and fallible - in fact, a modern woman.'

Alan Rickman, Standard

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