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The Conservatives believe in the arts, but they don't believe in subsidy. The Labour government believes in subsidy but does not believe in art

- Stephen Daldry, former artistic director of the Royal Court Theatre

Robin Cook would gain more sympathy from his predecessors if he did not set himself up as our moral superior. We all did our bit to make a British contribution to a more decent world and it is mildly irritating to be dismissed as immoral rogues - Lord Hurd, former Foreign Secretary

We once had a very important but pompous man to dinner. He was being rude, so in revenge I laced his chocolate mousse with laxative. It worked brilliantly - Christine Hamilton, wife of the former Tory MP Neil Hamilton

I would wake up in the middle of the night thinking I could hear burglars downstairs. But it was only my bronchial cords making a din - Peter Ustinov, explaining why he stopped smoking

For the last seven years I've had the odd fag now and again when I'm relaxed - which is never - Paul Gascoigne, footballer, on claims he has been smoking up to 20 cigarettes a day

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