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Nobody ever says to a plumber, `Well done, what a fantastic U-bend'.

Richard Eyre, artistic director of the Royal National Theatre If the Russians thought of recruiting you . . . no wonder they lost the Cold War.

Peter Preston, editor of the `Guardian', to Richard Gott, his literary editor, following allegations that he had helped the KGB A rise in VAT would have hit stately home owners harder than anyone else. You need more heating as you head up the kingdom away from Essex. Luckily, we have thick walls and our own wood.

Sir Nicholas Fairbairn, Tory MP, speaking from his Scottish home, Fordell Castle Freud said that the essence of the comic was the conservation of psychic energy. But then again Freud never played second house Friday night at the Glasgow Empire.

Ken Dodd, comedian To press on with European integration in the teeth of popular hostility is to arouse that most dangerous of all political cleavages, one between the people and the political class.

Vernon Bogdanor, Reader in government at Oxford University, arguing for a referendum