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A long debilitating haul, beginning in the sticks and ending up in the shadow of Big Ben. Thousands competing, some for money, some for charity, and the usual selection of fruit-cakes, chickens, cross-dressers and familiar faces - Rory Bremner, comedian, comparing the general election to the London Marathon

MPs get far too much and they line their own pockets as well - Alan Clark, Conservative candidate for Kensington and Chelsea, to a pensioner in the constituency

Speaking on a public platform comes not from liking the sound of your own voice but from seeking the sound of your own heart - Anita Roddick, founder of the Body Shop

No one can be a leader of men, can sway with lofty oratory or electrify his troops while his tubes are rumbling with eructations - Roy Porter, Professor of the History of Medicine at the Wellcome Institute, on indigestion

The first thing that came into my head was, `Now my life will end'- Morihisa Aoki, Japanese ambassador to Peru, on hearing the first explosions that led to the end of the embassy siege in Lima

Why would I talk about the men in my life? For me, life is not about men - Catherine Deneuve, actress, who is writing her autobiography

When your name ends in a vowel, you end up carrying a gun a lot - Anthony LaPaglia, actor, describing his gangster roles