Jaysus, well, I've never got close enough to ... I've never got to a stripping stage with her. If she says she has on thermals, I believe her. I don't insist on an inspection.

Richard Harris, who appears in Smilla's Feeling for Snow, on his co-star Julia Ormond's underwear, Time Out

A lovely, new, suitable motor car which I hope will bear me in and out of our famous tunnel with ever more ease and pleasure.

Muriel Spark, on how she'll spend her pounds 40,000 British Literature lifetime achievement award, Independent

I reckon it could be good if Richard Branson takes over. He'd put little presents in the seats and chocolates and things like that.

Sally Thomsett, one of the original Railway Children - now re-released - on the privatisation of British Rail, Guardian

Although Vermeer's colour is more than 300 years old, it'll last longer than MGM's.

David Hockney, artist, Times

I am afraid that I find it ridiculous of great artists to say that they want their work burned. If that's what Elgar really intended, he should have burned it himself. Leaving a great work of art unfinished is slightly sentimental.

Anthony Payne, musician, can't resist the temptation of Elgar's

Unfinished Symphony, Telegraph

I feel a bit of an imposter; I certainly don't get mobbed in the street and nobody's sent me their knickers yet. There is a "Fans of Firth" website now, or so I've been told.

Colin Firth, TV's Mr Darcy, on being a sex symbol, Time Out

Structurally incoherent, tediously heavy, boring. The best thing about it are the images.

Firth's view of Joseph Conrad's Nostromo (not that it stopped him appearing in BBC2's recent adaptation of the novel), ibid

Flying into England (sic) one is well aware that one is landing on an island. There's a siege mentality in England, I think, and a fear of being contaminated from the outside; and that fear is then enclosed on the island and people think they have no way to get off.

David Cronenberg on whether Crash has contaminated the British public, Guardian

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