Quotes of the year 2014: Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

Some showed insight, some showed a complete lack of insight, and some simply left us baffled

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The Independent Online

Boast of the Year

“You’ve been driving a cab for 10 years, I’ve been in the Cabinet, I’m an award-winning broadcaster, I’m a Queen’s Counsel. You think that your experiences are anything compared to mine?” – Modest and charming David Mellor effortlessly alienates the UK’s taxi-driving fraternity.

Boast of the Year (Runner-Up)

“I regret not becoming a scientist so I could clone myself and be more successful in half the time.” – Apprentice runner-up Bianca Miller delivers her modest self-assessment. And if you went on cloning yourself, Bianca, you’d be wholly successful in no time at all.

Cookery Tip of the Year

“We have lost our cooking skills. Poor people don’t know how to cook… I had a large bowl of porridge today which cost 4p. A large bowl of sugary cereal will cost you 25p.’’ – Baroness Jenkin of Kennington becomes the Marie Antoinette of the Conservative party.

Visionary of the Year

“It’s interesting that most gadgets are called ‘iPhone’ and ‘iPod,’ with that ‘i’ prefix, which is ego. But most creativity is not ego-led – a lot of it comes from the unconscious. So if you’re always checking your email or updating your Instagram profile, you’re not just looking out the window, daydreaming. You’ve got to let the subconscious in – that’s my main message to the world.” – Jarvis Cocker

Stoic of the Year

“I misplaced my World Championship medals for months. It’s bad news when you can’t find your medals. But then I figured that I could just go win some more.” – Usain Bolt, the world’s fastest runner, knows how to recover from misfortune.

Tactless Royal Remark of the Year

“I should probably call you granny.” – Prince William greets sexagenarian-but-sexy Dame Helen Mirren, who played HM in The Queen and The Audience, at the Baftas.

Size-ist of the Year

“The first time I went to Wales I thought I’d landed in a land of hobbits. Everybody was really small and the houses were small and the writing was backwards.” – Actor David Hasselhoff guarantees he won’t be welcome at an eisteddfod any time soon

Sexist of the Year

“The guy who wins the Oscar for Best Actor has a much higher bar to clear than the woman who wins best actress.” – Aaron Sorkin, scriptwriter on The Social Network and The Newsroom, thinks the ladies have an undemanding life playing film roles, bless them.

Excuse of the Year

“I lost my balance, making my body unstable and falling on top of my opponent. At that moment I hit my face against the player, leaving a small bruise on my cheek and a strong pain in my teeth.” – Uruguay striker Luis Suarez’s plausible explanation of how he came to bite Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini in a World Cup match.

Luis Suarez

Excuse of the Year (Runner-Up)

“It took me six hours and 15 minutes in the car to get here. It should have taken three and a half to four. That has nothing to do with professionalism. What it does have to do with is a population that is going through the roof chiefly because of open-door immigration and the fact that the M4 is not as navigable as it used to be.” – Ukip leader Nigel Farage on why he was two hours late for the party’s first Welsh conference in Port Talbot.

Excuse of the Year (Strong Contender)

“That was a phone call made a long time ago while he was on sedatives and, by his own account, not really speaking or thinking rationally.” – Patrick O’Flynn, Ukip MEP, explains how Kerry Smith, prospective Ukip candidate for Basildon and East Thurrock, came to use the phrases “Chinky bird” and “old poofters” in a phone conversation.

Goodwill to All Men Award

“I remember standing at the rail of the QE2 next to Jimmy Savile, whom I personally disliked really intensely, before everyone else did. My biggest regret is not tipping him over the rail when I had the chance” – I’m a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! star Michael Buerk gets an old hatred off his chest.

Political Insight of the Year

“Great nations need organising principles, and ‘Don’t do stupid stuff’ is not an organizing principle.” – Hillary Clinton favours a nuanced approach to US policy.

Rear of the Year

“He has such a good body and he has really, really good legs. Butt… And he is slim, tall, and good skin, pierce blue eyes which I love. Love his eyes.” – Wendy Deng, ex-wife of Rupert Murdoch, goes into girlish raptures about Tony Blair’s physical loveliness.

Ageist of the Year

“Who wants to see that again, really? A bunch of wrinkly old men trying to relive their youth and make a load of money.” – Sir Mick Jagger, 71, responds to news of the Monty Python reunion concerts at the O2.

Mick Jagger

Ageist of the Year (Runner-Up)

“A monkey with arthritis trying to go on stage and look young” – whippersnapper Sir Elton John, 67, disparages poor old Keith Richards, 71.

Psephologist of the Year

“Of course there is a chance Mr Miliband will be prime minister – about the same as a unicorn winning the Derby ridden by a pixie.” – Jacob Rees-Mogg has a rare flight of fancy.

High-Sounding Bollocks Award

“This attitude of churlish indifference seems like nerdish deference contrasted with the belligerent antipathy of the indigenous farm folk, who regard the hippie-dippie interlopers, the denizens of the shimmering tit temples, as one fey step away from transvestites.” – Russell “Fire” Brand wins the Plain English Campaign’s Foot in Mouth award.

High-Sounding Bollocks Award (Runner-Up)

“We have always conducted our relationship privately, and we hope that as we consciously uncouple and co-parent, we will be able to continue in the same manner.” – Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin find a gentle, caring way to say, “We’re splitting up.”

Gwyneth Paltrow and former husband Chris Martin

Damning Cultural Admission of the Year

“I feel a bit guilty about films sometimes, mainly when I get on to a plane and there’s lots of Iranian art house expressionist films and, instead of watching one of those, that I know I’ll remember for the rest of my life, I end up watching Thor.” – David Mitchell, highbrow author of Cloud Atlas, confesses his shame.

Survivor of the Year

“A lot of my poems are about how ill I am and how I probably won’t live beyond next week. I publish a poem and everyone says ‘cluck cluck, how wonderful, how brave’, but then embarrassingly I’m still here! You see the problem?” – Poet and critic Clive James is mortified by his apparent non-mortality.

Unexpected Braveheart Award

“Scotland, stay with us.’’ – Music titan David Bowie tersely pitches into the Scottish referendum debate at the Brit Awards, via supermodel Kate Moss who read out his acceptance speech as Best Male Artist.

Lèse-majesté of the Year

“She purred down the line.” – David Cameron treasonably reveals to Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York, how the Queen reacted to the news that Scotland voted to stay in the Union.

David Cameron

Snob of the Year

“Image from #Rochester.” – Shadow attorney general Emily Thornberry snarkily draws attention to a terraced house displaying three England flags with a white van parked outside, and gets herself fired.

Improvised Lyrics of the Year

“Mud, mud, mud, mud/ Up to our bums in all this crud.” – Country queen Dolly Parton pays an off-the-cuff song tribute to the most salient feature of Glastonbury.

Monarchist of the Year

“If we beat Brazil, I want a kiss, obviously on the cheek, from the UK Queen.” –  Mario Balotelli is a man with unusual passions.