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The reason I've been so successful is that I've just got on and done it. I've packed boxes and know VAT means value added tax, not vodka and tonic - Paul Smith, fashion icon

I bought an ice cream once. I honestly can't think of the others - Eddie George, Bank of England Governor, asked about occasions when he had been extravagant

It is an observable phenomenon in Northern Ireland - and elsewhere - that tension and violence tend to rise when compromise is in the air - Bertie Ahern, Irish Prime Minister

We had to stop them. Every tart in London was being presented - Princess Margaret , in a just-published comment on the abolition in the 1950s of the debutantes' royal presentation parties

As a nation, we are extremely good at producing an academic elite. But that elite has shown scant interest in training the rest of the workforce - John Edmonds, general secretary of the GMB union

A bad night at the theatre is worse than anything: one squirms and writhes and wishes oneself dead - Ben Elton, playwright

In England, if I walk into someone's home and they don't know me, as soon as I open my mouth they lock up the silver and send the women out of the way - Bob Hoskins, cockney actor

Nothing will ever turn William Hague into a leader. His only proposal is for endless consultations with the Tory rank and file. They will have to throw him out eventually, but there is nothing to be gained by consulting them beforehand as they are extremely stupid people - Auberon Waugh, writer

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