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" Every generation of children has its private hero. "
" The best way to prepare for a night out with a Shakespearean tragedy is to do a bit of reading up in the afternoon, eat a light supper - perhaps Welsh rarebit - and then arrive early to do some stretching exercises in the foyer before curtain-up. "
" Sky and clouds and trees and little figures relaxing in the perfect rural rhythm of their surroundings: these are the staples of a Gainsborough landscape. "
" The outfits come and go but there is a constant that I like about the catwalk model: the snotty expression. "
Come And Go
" Global warming, the ongoing destruction of the planet, Third World debt, the uselessness of the railways, the takeover by the corporations, the scary George Bush person: all these things are important and should be animating me into outrage. Yet somehow they do not. "
" Travel books are, by and large, boring. They lodge uncomfortably between fact, fiction and autobiography. "
" I see my large nose, like half an avocado. I broke it falling downstairs when I was six, and it now resembles a large blob of play-dough. "
" Reading the play at home, however fulfilling, can never be the vivacious experience that Shakespeare intended. "
" The real change that paintings undergo is in the perceptions of the viewer. "
" I abhor nothing more than bumping into someone I know on the Tube. "
" It's worth turning up to an awards gig if you know you've won one but, since you never do know, it's not worth it. "
" The history of the relationship between comedy and swimming is short indeed. Of course it is always funny when someone falls into water, but that's about it. "
" I've been trekking the hills and lanes of the British countryside for nearly four decades now and I've come to associate my passion with overexcited poets rather than pampered painters. "
" When I was eight or nine, I wrote a new version of 'Peter Pan' for the school play. They didn't use it - I imagine it was unperformable - but as recompense for not doing my script, I was offered any role, and instinctively went for Captain Hook. I came on trying to be terrifying, but everyone laughed at me. "
" An uninspiring canvas becomes a glamorous masterpiece when it is reattributed to a better-known artist. "
" The Romantic poets were the prototype ramblers, and I've often found myself following in their footsteps - although perhaps not all of their footsteps since a typical walk for Samuel T. Coleridge might last two days and cover 145km. "
" The Bible has no doubt had much influence in its time, but it provides very few laughs. None, in fact. "
" My eyebrows could do with a trim. "
" Comedy ages quicker than tragedy, to the extent that we can't know if the 10 commandments may originally have been 10 hilarious one-liners. "
" Because comedy is cheap to put on: if you've got a play or an opera, there's a whole load of people and a set, but comedy is just one man or woman. And because TV has learned to love comics - there's so many more around now than when I started out. "
" It is London fashion week, and once again I haven't been invited to any shows. This is upsetting given my well-known love of fashion, or, as I think of it, playing with the dressing-up box. "
" A female friend who caught me watching Fashion TV reckons its audience is largely made up of slobbering men who are just taking a break from the appalling Men & Motors channel. I don't agree. "
" Obviously I am not bothered about men's fashion - is anyone, apart from Jonathan Ross? "
" It was Julie Burchill who decreed that, beyond a certain age, a man should not be seen in a leather jacket. "
" The moon puts on an elegant show, different every time in shape, colour and nuance. "