The Year in Review: Quotes of the year

  • @johnhenrywalsh


"I want my life back." - Tony Hayward, chief executive of BP, bewails the personal discomfort he'd endured since an explosion at the Deepwater Horizon oil rig killed 11 workers and leaked 206 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, destroying communities whose lives depended on the sea.

"I think we can all conclude that Tony Hayward is not going to have a second career in PR consulting." - Rahm Emanuel, White House chief of staff, after photos showed the BP boss sailing on his yacht with his son instead of dealing with the oil spill.

"It's just a cat, at the end of the day." - Mary Bale, the Briton who received abuse and death threats after CCTV and YouTube showed her putting a cat in a wheelie-bin.

"They were kind of dirty-looking pebbles. I didn't know. I'm used to seeing diamonds shiny and in a box. These are the kind of diamonds I am used to seeing." - Supermodel Naomi Campbell on the alleged blood diamonds it is claimed she received from African dictator Charles Taylor.

"My grandfather led a rescue team in the Blitz. They didn't wait until the bombers had left." - Michael Henning, 7/7 London bombings survivor, tells the inquest that some 999 crews didn't venture into the site of the attacks in case of further explosions.

"Fuck my victims. I carried them for 20 years and now I'm doing 150." - Bernie Madoff, jailed king of the Ponzi investment scam.

"We... insistently beg forgiveness from God and from the persons involved." - Pope Benedict XVI marks the end of the Roman Catholic Church's Year of the Priest celebrations with an "insistent" apology for years of sexual abuse of children by priests.

"He is an anti-American operative with blood on his hands. Why was he not pursued with the same urgency we pursue al-Qa'ida and Taliban leaders?" - Sarah Palin leads the charge against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.


"When I was young, everybody on screen was gorgeous. I think showbusiness has lost a lot of its magic in that way. There aren't that many good-looking actresses around today. I mean, there's Angelina Jolie and there's... Angelina Jolie. Jennifer Aniston is cute but I wouldn't call her beautiful. She's no Ava, Lana or Audrey." - Joan Collins, actress, on the decline of the goddess.

"Bag him and bin him." - Natalie Rooney, cousin of Wayne, urges the footballer's wife Coleen to leave him.

"I want you to know, Mrs Obama, that I'm your husband's No 1 fan. And not just because he's a black man. He's mixed. And I wouldn't really know what that looks like anyway." - Stevie Wonder confuses Michelle Obama.


"If the Few [had] defended as badly as England, we'd all be speaking German now." - Richard Littlejohn of the Daily Mail bewails England's World Cup performance.

"He is a bit old." - Fabio Capello, England coach, casually puts an end to David Beckham's international career – at 35.

"Control is very, very important because if I lost control of all these multi-millionaires in my dressing room, I'm dead. So, if anyone steps out of my control, they're dead." - Alex Ferguson, Manchester United manager.

"Can you please leave the field of play and return to the stands? Can you please leave the field of play and return to the... look, I'm dying for a wee and I want to go home, so please just leave the field ..." - Stadium announcer at Accrington Stanley's Crown Ground, following a pitch invasion.


"These two guys remind me of my two young boys squabbling at bathtime." - Gordon Brown utters the most memorable line of the televised leaders' debate.

"This isn't about a lie, or a conspiracy, or a deceit, or a deception. It's a decision." - Tony Blair, on his choice to go to war in Iraq to oust Saddam Hussein.

"It is absolutely bizarre that the people who can't tell us what the fucking weather is next Tuesday can predict with absolute precision what the fucking global temperatures will be in 100 years' time." - Michael O'Leary, Ryanair boss, is slightly sceptical about global warming.


"It's better to like beautiful girls than to be gay." - Silvio Berlusconi, Italian prime minister, loses the Italian pink vote.

"You are swine. The children you bear from this marriage will all be bastard swine. Keep fornicating and spreading hatred among people. Your marriage is not valid. You are infidels." - Cheery salutation to a Swiss couple renewing their wedding vows in a ceremony at a Maldives hotel. The clergyman spoke the words in his native tongue.


"To the passenger who called me a motherfucker, fuck you. I've been in this business for years and that's it. I've had it." -Air steward Steven Slater, who grabbed two bottles of beer and slid down the emergency chute after being abused by a passenger.

"That was a disaster. You should never have put me with that woman. Whose idea was that? It's just ridiculous... She was such a bigoted woman." - Gordon Brown almost ruins his campaign in one soundbite with a comment about a Labour supporter, while an open mic was attached to his lapel

"If you asked my mother and father about my pay, they'd probably tell you it is too high." - Royal Bank of Scotland boss Stephen Hester on his £10m pay package

"If you can hold it down on the smokes and the cocktails, you may be well advised to do so." - Christopher Hitchens, author and columnist, after he was diagnosed with osophageal cancer"

"If I was in his house, where the hell was she?" - Loredana Jolie, one of Tiger Woods's mistresses, ingeniously blames the golfer's then-wife Erin for his string of affairs

"I feel sorry for straight men. The only reason women will have sex with them is that sex is the price they are willing to pay for a relationship with a man, which is whatthey want." - Stephen Fry claims straight women don't really like sex

"I was with God and I was with the devil. They fought over me, but God won. I think I had extraordinary luck." - Mario Sepulveda, one of 33 Chilean miners rescued after being trapped 2,000 feet below ground for 69 days