Pandora: Quotes of the Year

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The Independent Online

That's showbiz

"It was the most unpleasant thing that has ever happened to me while filming – having my undercarriage dealt with by gaffer tape."

Andrew Marr dons a vintage bathing suit for the filming of A History of Modern Britain

"I've found myself at a party for johnnys, I can't believe it."

Welsh scruffbag and self-proclaimed "working class hero" Rhys Ifans accidentally gatecrashes the 80th birthday celebrations of condom manufacturers Durex.

"Anyone who does Strictly has to be fantastically desperate!"

So scoffs Christopher Biggins, alumnus of Hell's Kitchen, I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, Come Dine With Me and Are You Smarter Than A 10-Year-Old? (to name a few).

"I was doing nothing more exciting than posting a form to the tax man."

Jon Snow gets "papped" by Heat magazine.

"I had to question my existence. I was presenting an award for the best gift under £5.99. The winner was a pair of clogs filled with chocolate."

Johnny Vaughan grows weary of the after-dinner circuit.

Down with the kids

"I'm not going to be putting my expenses on the internet. I wouldn't know how. I've never sent an email and I don't intend to start now."

Dennis Skinner struggles to keep up with the modern age.

"The sort of girl who wears lots of rings and has chipped nail polish..."

The Conservative Party advertises for actors to play the part of voters in their forthcoming campaign ads.

Nice little sideline

"We have considered others – Frank Dobson has the beard and Tom Watson the shape – but Ed simply refuses to give it up."

Keith Vaz reveals Ed Balls wants to hold on to his role as Santa at the Commons kids' club Christmas party.

"Obviously I'm not living full-time as Dolores. It's as if I fancy women so much that I want to be one, but only on a temporary basis."

Ex-spook David Shayler explains his new-found desire to dress as a woman.

"I've been asked to contribute to the research and development of an indestructible football by scientists."

Dad-rocker Sting lends a helping hand.

"He called the restaurant and asked us to send over the original recipe for my fish and chips so he could make it himself."

Heston Blumenthal reveals Prince Philip's passion for home cooking.

"We are the Road Warriors of Rock and Roll, featuring the Godfather of Corporate Punk."

Eddie Jordan, bespectacled former motor racing tycoon, describes his rock band Eddie & The Robbers.

"I'm totally flattered. But wasn't that what the revolution was about?"

Jerry Springer bats away calls for him to become the next House of Commons speaker.

Noble causes

"Who here will admit that they have been to a strip club? And did anyone want to sleep with the dancer afterwards?"

Ken Livingstone addresses a beer-swilling crowd at London it-bar Boogaloo in Highgate. He subsequently handed the lone respondent a free drink.

"This is clearly over-the-top censorship at its worst. Perhaps my views are too liberal for the House of Commons?"

Lembit Opik gets in a flap after learning that computers within the Palace of Westminster are unable to access the website of fruity red-top The Daily Sport, for which he writes a weekly column.

"I will be going by, er ... boat."

Private jet-loving activist Trudie Styler hoped to avoid controversy en route to the Copenhagen climate summit. She never arrived.

Something I said?

"I had to sit in a small airless waiting room for half an hour. It was worse than Auschwitz."

Michael Winner whips out the wrong analogy while addressing guests at the Jewish Book Week.

"I'm not allowed to touch, I'm not allowed to touch."

Sir Nicholas Winterton makes his way through the House of Commons, after Pandora revealed that he had slapped Labour MP Natascha Engel on the bottom.

"I wouldn't put it directly on to the plants. It might be better to put it in the compost first."

Alan Titchmarsh responds to a question from nine-year-old twins Finlay and Joseph Taylor as to the wisdom of weeing on one's tomato plants.

Temper, temper...

"Why should I answer the question? I know what will happen. One of your journalists will write this up and I will be in the poo."

Jeremy Paxman gets defensive when asked his opinion of Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi's release on compassionate grounds.

"This mealy-mouthed, spun quasi-apology is a perfect example of why British politics is far better off without you."

LabourList readers bid farewell to disgraced former spin doctor Derek Draper.

"Nothing else matters ... Just chop it off and put it on a spike. Like in the olden days."

Stephen Frears, director of The Queen, advises Gordon Brown on what to do with Tony Blair's head.

"If they were to run a fan club in this way they would be out of a job."

Sandie Shaw passes judgement on the European Union.

"Make Poverty History sounds like a Michael Jackson song, not a solution to world hunger."

John Bird, co-founder of homeless magazine The Big Issue, shows his cynical side.

"Of course we didn't all go to Eton! I went to Windsor Boys' Grammar."

Conservative MP Peter Luff reveals his common man status.

Bruised egos

"I recognise you! Aren't you on Sky Sports?"

A cricket fan (almost) succeeds in uncovering the real George Osborne.

"He must be confused. He's very sensitive, you know."

A BBC spokesman plays down legendary hip-hop presenter Tim Westwood's claim not to have been invited to the Corporation's Christmas lunch.

"I never had any sex in the Sixties. I have a difficult body – you don't want to see me with nothing on. I'd just give them a bit of tongue on the first date."

Doth Bill Nighy protest too much?

"The thing is, I would have gone on The Andrew Marr Show if only they had actually asked me. But no one did."

David Abrahams, squillionaire property developer (and eye of the Labour Party's 2007 "Donorgate" storm) reflects on the inequalities of infamy.

"It's so unfair, I work so hard that I only have about three days off a month, if that."

Whatever you do, don't accuse TV presenter Nick Knowles of being overpaid.

"There is absolutely no way that he is still dancing."

John Sergeant's Strictly partner Kristina Rihanoff gives us the odds that he's still waltzing.

Friends and Family

"What a load of rubbish!"

Dame Vivienne Westwood isn't impressed by her son Ben's "Celebrity Spawn" exhibition.

"I don't agree with David Cameron on everything, but on my father's expulsion ... bang on!"

Charlotte Wheeler, daughter of the Tory donor Stuart Wheeler, is no daddy's girl.

"He doesn't do standing-up parties, so I am his representative on earth."

Nigella Lawson's devotion to Charles Saatchi knows no bounds.

"That was Alastair, that was. That was him."

Shewd as ever, John Prescott sees a similarity between Blair's ex-spinner and In The Loop character Malcolm Tucker.