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As a mercenary once said to me, there's nothing frightening about death. It's the bit before - Frederick Forsyth, novelist

I am a grocer's son and you are a grocer's daughter. What problems had you with the price of sago? - Peter Barry, former Irish foreign minister, recalling an abortive attempt to endear himself to Margaret Thatcher

This business of being upset when the Speaker doesn't call them is ridiculous. You can't go into Parliament and be some little petal on the benches - Angela Browning , Conservative MP, on "Blair's Babes"

A little bit of cancer is making me very human - Rabbi Lionel Blue

I was nowhere near a nervous breakdown. I'm made of sterner stuff and felt murderous but never suicidal - Christine Hamilton on the "cash-for- questions" controversy involving her husband, ex-MP Neil Hamilton

I thought, do I join in or do I retire gracefully? - Tony Slattery, comedy actor, on finding his fiancee in bed with another woman

One of the things I hate is people pretending that the theatre is real. That, to me, is psychotic behaviour - Phyllis Nagy, American playwright

You have less to do, but then you have fewer people to help you do it - Michael Howard, former Home Secretary, on life in Opposition

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