[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Monday, 27 December, 2004, 06:23 GMT
What they said in 2004 - quotes of the year
Holyrood
Scottish Parliament...25 years too late for Buffy
A year adorned by the Gherkin, the Sage and the Scottish Parliament began with a nod to the UK's architectural heyday - the 1970s.

Buffy The Vampire star Alyson Hannigan enlightened us after a visit to London from the US. "It's like walking around in a history book - you have all these beautiful buildings that were built before 1980," she said.

They even had pop music back then, singer Cat Stevens (now Yusuf Islam), may remember. When asked about making his comeback, he replied: "If someone writes me a $20m cheque, we're in business."

Eleven months later he had his wish (the success, if not the cheque) - in the Christmas chart at Number Two with Ronan Keating.

From one aging rocker to another... Tony Blair's guitar skills drew plaudits from David Blunkett at the start of the year - at a time when the then Home Secretary wasn't known for slagging off colleagues.

When asked if the prime minister - formerly of student band Ugly Rumours - ever smoked dope, Mr Blunkett answered: "Goodness me, he played the guitar very well, but it is not synonymous with having a puff."

His honest reputation took a battering later in the year but he wasn't the only person to eat his words in 2004.

Mr Blair's spokesman, when asked by journalists whether there would be a referendum on the EU constitution, said: "Which part of 'no' don't you understand?" The part that a few weeks later means yes, I suppose.

Maybe he'd followed the instructions of Tory peer Bill Deedes, who professed: "We might all be happier if we knew less about what was going on in the world."

This article is unlikely to disappoint Mr Deedes in that respect and neither will the claim by Roger Lyons that "We could end up a nation of hairdressers and fat cats, with nothing in between."

Hairdresser
Smiling because he's one of the survivors

His comments in the summer failed to plunge the country into panic, maybe because people were more concerned by a new American foreign policy announced by the president.

"They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we," promised George W Bush.

Why not take away their shades, George? "I just can't eat without my sunglasses," said actress Calista Flockhart after smashing hers during lunch.

Whether or not the CIA considered that an option, Stephen Fry demonstrated another potential weapon of mass destruction. When asked whether he had any sharp objects at Heathrow airport, he replied: "Only my tongue, sir."

Robert Downey Jr and Calista Flockhart
Robert can eat, Calista can't...
Nothing, however, could blunt the cutting remarks of Labour MP Oona King... "When I was five I wanted to be prime minister, now I would rather poke my eyes out with a fork," she said.

One man who probably used to dream about occupying Number 10 lifted the lid on his unorthodox keep fit regime.

"I get my exercise from playing snooker," said Kenneth Clarke after refusing to join an MPs' tug-of-war team.

The queens of fashion fascism, Trinny and Susannah, were also in candid mood. "A naked Susannah is like a fat white maggot - all folds and undulating movement," said Susannah.

After such self-deprecation, it was over to Robert Kilroy-Silk for a dose of the opposite. The sacked television presenter-turned MEP revealed: "I must keep up the tan, it's a national institution."

Not one to languish in the shade either, Nancy Dell'Olio was busy exhorting the complexities of the sport her partner Sven Goran Eriksson has spent a career trying to mastermind. "Nothing, to me, seems easier than kicking a ball," she said.

Footballers were also getting it in the neck from one of their own. "In the real world they would be hard pushed to get a job that paid them 20,000 a year, never mind a week," said a sacked Sir Bobby Robson.

Sven Goran-Eriksson and Nancy Dell'Olio
Nancy, I don't think you've grasped fully what it is I do....
But enough of the real world, the story of the year on stage was the musical about a musical about Hitler, The Producers, which made a triumphant transfer from Broadway to London's West End.

German foreign minister Joschka Fischer was probably not among the sell-out audiences, given his attack on British stereotypes of his native country. "If you want to learn how the traditional Prussian goosestep works, you have to watch British TV," he said.

The West End did you say... where's that? Pop singer Britney Spears, who is considering a role in a musical, has a vague idea: "I would rather start out somewhere small - like London or England."

The year ended with a luvviness of which the RSC would have been proud. David Blunkett revealed his resignation meeting with Tony Blair had been an emotional one. "We sort of gave each other a hug," he said.

But Woody Allen prevented the tone from getting too teary: "Love is the answer, but while you're waiting for the answer, sex raises some pretty good questions."


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific