Gems of truth from the creator of Billy Liar

The wry observations of Keith Waterhouse, who died on Friday, aged 80
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The Independent Online

"I am rather in favour of larger-than-life newspaper bosses, but he was a bit too large." – On the prospect of going to work for Robert Maxwell at the Daily Mirror

"I never drink when I'm writing, but I sometimes write when I drink." – To a fellow Fleet Street journalist

"Today's a day of big decisions – going to start writing me novel – 2,000 words every day, going to start getting up in the morning." – William Terrence Fisher, aka Billy, in Waterhouse's most famous work, Billy Liar

"Gordon already has a good deal of form. He is an old lag – an expert at what an accountant might call his own private double-entry system." – On Gordon Brown's handing of the financial crisis

"Whenever he poses for a photo opportunity, he feels obliged to point at whatever happens to be in shot – a pig, a hospital patient, even, if there's nothing else in view, his lady wife." – On Prince Charles

"Up there in space, scientific explorers have discovered that there is water on Mars. The evidence is that liquid water could be seen running down a leg of Nasa's Mars probe. But are they sure this wasn't just a stray Martian dog relieving itself?" – Writing about the discovery of water on Mars

"Should not the Society of Indexers be known as Indexers, Society of, The?" – From one of his columns

"The sinister thing about these professional campaigners is that once they have got what they wanted, they want still more, like Oliver." – On a plan for a minimum alcohol price suggested by England's chief medical officer, Sir Liam Donaldson

"I call myself a tin roof tabernacle radical with a leaning towards political agnosticism and an economic realism amounting to studied gloom." – In a Daily Mail column

"She addresses people as though they had lost their dog." – On Margaret Thatcher

"Pre-emptive power is what the police have to stop you doing what otherwise you might have done, such as throwing a shoe at a world leader." – Writing about new powers that allow police to arrest someone before a crime is committed

"The rain, so it has been laid down, it raineth on the just, and also on the unjust fella – but chiefly on the just, because the unjust steals the just's umbrella." – On Sir Fred Goodwin's RBS pension deal

"Our schools have never been over-fond of the spoken word, except to remind us from time to time to pronounce our aitches, excluding only the word aitch itself, which does not take an aitch." – On education

"I turn over a new leaf every day but the blots show through." – On his life

"Watching the Greeks make even more of a dog's breakfast of it than we would comes as a tonic for the nation." – On Greece preparing for the 2004 Olympics

Life and career: From the press to TV and back

Born 6 February 1929, Leeds, West Yorkshire

Career Began at the Yorkshire Evening Post. Also at Punch, the Daily Mirror and the Daily Mail

Novels Include Billy Liar, which became a 1963 film starring Tom Courtenay and Julie Christie

Theatre Jeffrey Bernard Is Unwell, about his fellow hard-drinking journalist and friend, opened in the West End in 1989 with Oscar-nominated Peter O'Toole playing the lead

Television scripts written with life-long friend Willis Hall, included That Was the Week That Was, Budgie and Worzel Gummidge

Died At home in London, on 4 September 2009