Page last updated at 00:26 GMT, Wednesday, 31 December 2008

What they said - the quotes of 2008

Rebecca Adlington, Barack Obama, Tilda Swinton and Max Mosley

It was a year that saw Prince Harry cut short his tour of duty in Afghanistan, America vote for a new president and Max Mosley discuss his "unusual" sex life in court.

It's not just what they said but who and why they said it - here's a guide to some of the most memorable quotes of 2008.

"All you'll be able to do with them is put money into my account. Not take it out. Honestly, I've never known such a palaver about nothing." Jeremy Clarkson later regretted revealing his personal details to the public after a cheeky reader used the information to set up a 500 direct debit to a charity.

Flag by Bansky
We just earned 20,000 in three minutes
Vikki Hughes didn't mind selling her Banksy original

"I made a mistake but it was an innocent mistake." Ex-cabinet minister Peter Hain probably wishes he declared donations from supporters for his Labour deputy leadership campaign a little earlier.

"My children aren't props - they're people." At the Labour Party conference Prime Minister Gordon Brown works to bury talk of a leadership challenge and takes a swipe at politicians who use their families as political capital.

"Their pants no longer provide adequate support." Jeremy Paxman complains about the quality of Marks and Spencer underwear.

"I must say it felt like a real kick in the teeth." The leader of the Hadron Collider project, Professor Lyn Evans, after the 3.6bn ($6.6bn) machine broke down, leaked a tonne of liquid helium and estimates said it would take nearly a year and cost almost 14m ($21m) to fix.

"It was just a joke. I wanted to see if someone would make an offer." Putting your baby up for sale on eBay was never going to be a good idea - as one German woman found out when the local authorities took the child away.

Colin Montgomerie
I don't do men with breasts
Jack Vettriano refuses to paint the golfer Colin Montgomerie

"I admire entrepreneurs. I should do - I go to bed with one every night." In a keynote speech to his party conference, Tory leader David Cameron makes a joke. Whether his businesswoman wife Samantha found it funny is another matter.

"Sasha and Malia, I love you both more than you can imagine, and you have earned the new puppy that's coming with us to the White House." US President-elect Barack Obama pays back his daughters' support during his campaign.

"In case you're wondering what we all do here during the commercial breaks, mostly we just sit around making catty remarks about the outfits you're all wearing at home." Oscars presenter Jon Stewart on what goes on when the cameras switch to a commercial break.

"Seeing you climb into that rubber batsuit from Batman and Robin - the one with the nipples - every morning under your costume, on the set, off the set, hanging upside down at lunch. You rock, man." Best supporting actress Tilda Swinton thanks co-star George Clooney, in her winner's speech, for providing light relief during the filming of Michael Clayton.

"They destroyed my life, they destroyed my career. For this I will never, ever forgive them." Pilot Lotfi Raissi after the High Court rules that he can claim damages for being wrongly accused of teaching the 9/11 hijackers how to fly.

Prince Harry in Afghanistan
It's very nice to be sort of a normal person for once, I think it's about as normal as I'm going to get
Prince Harry on life in Afghanistan

"They led a completely different life to ours, they do not know what we know. These children were born into the jail, they knew nothing else." Police chief Franz Polzer on the offspring of Josef Fritzl - the man who fathered six children with his own daughter.

"Had I wanted a Nazi scene, I would have said I wanted one and [witness] A would have got some of the inexpensive Nazi stuff from the joke shop that provides uniforms and would not have gone to Marks and Spencer and got quite expensive jackets." Max Mosley on his S&M session with prostitutes.

"It was a really stupid thing to do." Russell Brand apologises after the infamous prank call episode.

"Outstanding at dancing really badly." Strictly come dancing judge Arlene Phillips makes her assessment of John Sergeant's performance on the show.

"We were both screaming so loudly that my dog, Brock, didn't know what was happening and bit me on the bottom." Teenage Euromillions Lottery winner Ianthe Fullagar celebrates in style.

Ricky Gervais
He was horrified that I could have such horrible real teeth. It's like the biggest difference between Brits and the Americans. They are obsessed with perfect teeth
Ricky Gervais mouths off

"I am driven to the conclusion that much of her evidence, both written and oral, was not just inconsistent and inaccurate but also less than candid." Mr Justice Bennett was not impressed by Heather Mills's claims during her divorce hearing.

"I think he couldn't handle the refusal." Escort Audul Carlsen reasons why singer Boy George handcuffed him to a bed and refused to let him go when he tried to leave.

"I was just feeding the birds." David Batchelor's explanation to Perth Sheriff Court as to why he was wearing a back-to-front thong in public.

"Santa got attacked, one of the elves got smacked in the face and pushed in a pram." Ex-security Adrian Wood admits Lapland New Forest had problems.

"What should have been an occasion of national pride was in fact an occasion of national embarrassment." Louise Ellman MP on the shambolic opening of Heathrow Airport's Terminal 5.

Mis-translated bilingual road sign
I am not in the office at the moment
An out-of-office e-mail means the Welsh translation's all wrong

"I hope the force will soon be with him." A judge issues a warrant for a man who attacked two Star Wars fans while he was dressed as Darth Vader.

"I texted him and he texted back step-by-step instructions on how to do it." Surgeon David Nott amputated a boy's limb after following instructions on his mobile phone.

"If you want the facts, it's a size 10 shoe that he threw." US President George Bush after an Iraqi journalist flings his shoe at him and calls him a "dog".

"The Queen, if you're watching - Dame Rebecca Adlington." Cassie Patten as she hugs her double Olympic gold medal-winning team mate Rebecca Adlington poolside during a BBC interview.

"I never had breakfast. I woke up around 11, I watched television and then I had some [chicken] nuggets for lunch. I went back to my room, I slept for two hours, I went back for some more nuggets and came to the track." Jamaica's Usain Bolt talks us through his pre-race preparation on the day he won gold and broke the 100m world record.

Laura Robson
I thought I was going to be sick when I walked onto the court
Wimbledon girls' champion Laura Robson was a bit nervous

"Sorry, I'm not qualified to land the plane." Not exactly what you want to hear at 30,000 feet. From your pilot.

"As long as you don't include children, animals or vegetables." Ken Livingstone lists off-bounds sexual practices.

"We not only saved the world, er, saved the banks and led the way..." Gordon Brown gets a bit carried away during prime minister's questions.

"I kept asking the guys 'Am I world champion? Am I world champion?'" Lewis Hamilton was as confused as the rest of us as the Formula One championship ended in a nailbiter. He did by the way - becoming the youngest world champion in history.

Print Sponsor

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2020 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific