Quotes of the week

The trouble with fulfilling your ambitions is you think you will be transformed into some sort of archangel and you're not. You still have to wash your socks.

Louis de Bernieres, author of the bestselling novel 'Captain Corelli's Mandolin'

At least I am famous for being a nonentity. I didn't come back into politics to be on the cover of Hello!

Francis Maude,

Shadow chancellor No fights broke out and there was no need for police to spray any of the guests.

Auberon Waugh on the 'Oldie' of the Year award lunch

Self-restraint is regarded as wonderfully old-fashioned, while the pursuit of instant self-gratification is no longer a temptation but a right.

Ann Widdecombe,

Shadow health secretary

I fought against the Conservatives because they offended me. I got Labour into power and now they are not even thankful enough to let me be Mayor of London.

Mohamed al Fayed

I've wee'd in front of David right from the beginning.

Victoria Adams, Posh Spice, on her relationship with David Beckham

I do not wear a bleeper. I can't speak in soundbites. I refuse to repeat slogans. I hate focus groups. I absolutely hate image consultants.

Kenneth Clarke, former Tory chancellor

There is always a member who thinks he's black. Boyzone's Shane always does a sort of menacing "I'm hip" face. I find it very amusing.

Robbie Williams on boy bands

This is not easy, and frankly it's not a lot of fun.

Christopher Hill, chief mediator at the Kosovo peace talks

When peace finally comes to the Middle East, his name will be inscribed upon it.

President Clinton on the late King Hussein of Jordan

I didn't know who he was, but he seemed nice.

Chante Essie, 14, when William Hague visited her school in Spanish Harlem

It is an absolutely stupid idea. The House of Commons is supposed to be getting on with other things than poetry.

James Fenton, Oxford poetry professor, on the new post of parliamentary poet