~ Observations about TV
~ Dramas
~ Soaps
~ Comedies
~ Quotes from Spooks (aka MI5)
~ Quotes from Coupling
~ Quotes from Teachers
~ Watching the Detectives


In last week's show Lee Mack suggested that David Copperfield was a smarmy f*****g twat...well done Lee.
        - Channel 4 Continuity Announcer [1]

Like Anne Robinson in a Korean restaurant, it'll be dog eat dog.
        - Graham Norton [1]

The most frightening thing on television since Anthea Turner revealed she had a sister.
       - Suggs, lead singer of Madness [1]

"Good evening to all our Arab viewers and apologies from Kilroy. How can anyone claim that the Arab nations haven't made a positive contribution to our culture. For a start, you've got rid of Kilroy."
        - Jonathon Ross, putting his unique spin on the Robert Kilroy-Silk affair

Censorship is good: Just because you can say w**k, f**k etc - you don't have to. "The Two Ronnies had more words for breasts than eskimos have for snow," says Linehan. As an example, he uses an episode of Seinfeld which was all about m*sturbation - but they never said the word in the show. "That is where the craft and the fun lies."
Taboos can be fun: One of Linehan's favourite films is Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. "It is about treating disabled people terribly, but in such a way that no one can be offended."
        - Graham Linehan's guide to writing a TV sitcom, "The Guardian"

News in the celebrity/reality world is that ITV has got a new show called Celebrity Shark Bait later this summer. Presumably it's all the same ex-soap stars and shaggers, but this time they get lowered in a cage into the sea off South Africa for face-to-face encounters with great white sharks. Only one question: why bother with the cage?
        - Sam Wollaston, "The Guardian"

Maybe now some production company will finally buy our idea for a programme: Celebrity Cull.
In this show, dozens of pointless celebrities, previous contestants on reality programmes and boy band members will be brought to a desert island. Every night the viewers vote for their least favourite contestant, who is then clubbed to death just after the 10pm news.
        - Ian O'Doherty, "The Irish Independent"

Are you a really stupid person? Do you live your life according to the rules set down in Heat magazine? Do you think Colleen McLoughlin and Kerry Katona are, like, really cool and stuff? Then you will be looking forward to the new Big Brother which starts tomorrow night.
        - Ian O'Doherty, "The Irish Independent"

You realise that all those humiliating attempts at flirting you've made over the years are nowhere near as bad as those seen in Peter's pursuit of Jordan.
You've always made disparaging remarks about Kerry McFadden but now have hard evidence to back up your derision.
        - comes up with signs you watch too much "I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here"

"You may fixate on my breasts, but who's making all the money out of them, huh? *me*!"
        - Rebecca Loos, explaining her rationale for being on "Celebrity Love Island"

"I watched Celebrity Love Island because Jonathan Ross said that Abi Titmuss and Rebecca Loos were crying. But when I turned it on they were having a good time so I turned it off. They weren't in agony. They weren't getting hurt. Think if the rest of the world got wiped out and humanity had to start again with that lot. You'd be left with a bunch of ropey old sluts and desperate wannabees."
        - Ricky Gervais

Priests, vicars, rabbis and mullahs will face a big problem this morning in convincing the public of the existence of God. For, if there were ever a moment when a divine thunderbolt was going to hit British television, it was surely last night at about 9.25pm. At that time, Michael Barrymore — a disgraced entertainer who fled to New Zealand leaving behind him questions about the night that a young, sexually-assaulted man drowned in his swimming pool — was cheered like a returning hero as he walked the runway that led to the 2006 Celebrity Big Brother house... you waited for the divine fire from the sky to punish Channel 4 for somehow finding a secret new low compartment below the bottom of the barrel scraped by last year's Celebrity Big Brother.
        - Mark Lawson, "If Only God Watched Channel 4", "The Guardian"

To those rolling their eyes and saying 'God, not more Big Brother, surely?' it's worth pointing out that in the best part of seven years as the Observer TV critic I have never had as many conversations with as diverse a selection of people on one televised subject, as I have about this year's Celebrity Big Brother. And that includes 9/11, the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, last year's natural disasters and London bombings, and certainly nothing as mundane as a general election.
        - Kathryn Flett, "The Observer", Jan'06

"Various people who appear on this show have been accused of playing up to the cameras, showing off and trying to appeal to the viewers at any cost."
"All we've got to say about that is, it's our job and we're very sorry."
        - Ant & Dec, fronting "I'm A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!"

"You never wear very many clothes. Do you ever get cold?"
        - Little Ant & Little Dec interview Jordan

"I want Thick Of It to win. Or Peep Show — but that's not nominated. Who runs this debacle? I blame the viewing public. Just because it doesn't follow EastEnders. Flip a bit."
        - Ricky Gervais, at the 2005 British Comedy Awards

"My persona don’t really work without fame. Without fame this haircut could be mistaken for mental illness."
        - Russell Brand

"My main beef with him is that he is historically inaccurate."
        - Harry Hill, trying to consign Barney the Dinosaur to "Room 101"

"Last week we were just behind Maureen from Driving School's Guide To Corinthian Sculpture on Men & Motors but we did beat Britain's Hardest Nuns and a very good documentary on Carlton Food Network, The History Of Blancmange."
        - Mark Lamarr, updating the audience of "Never Mind The Buzzcocks" with the show's ratings

"There are several websites devoted to metal drain covers, though if I were you, I'd be very careful typing the word 'manhole' into your search engine."
        - Des Lynam, presenting "Have I Got News For You"

"Who Wants to Humiliate a Millionaire."
        - Adam Hill's verdict on Celebrity "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire"

"Shane Warne... He's been the pain in my arse all my life."
        - Phil Tufnel, getting a question wrong on "A Question of Sport"

"James, we are grown men... playing conkers with caravans."
"Well it's better than working in a bank."
        - Richard and James, really smashing caravans into each other, "Top Gear"

"I put my life in your hands. The screaming helped didn't it?"
        - Billy 'Blind Man' Baxter, after Jeremy Clarkson navigates him round the test track, "Top Gear"

"This is the perfect car for racing a greyhound around a race track."
        - Richard Hammond, losing in an MX5 to a greyhound, "Top Gear"

"If you think about it, animals are rear-wheel drive, that's why a terrier oversteers going around corners..."
"...except a hyena, they're front-wheel drive... Attenborough never tells you these things."
        - Richard Hammond and Jeremy Clarkson, "Top Gear"

"If you have a weakness on this show, you die."
        - Jeremy Clarkson, "Top Gear"

"This really is a great off-road vehicle, but the lesson here is that if you're planning to invade another country, use a tank."
        - Jeremy Clarkson, trying and failing to evade a Challenger tank in a Range Rover, "Top Gear"


"In some parallel universe I think I just met my wife."
        - Vince, "Queer As Folk"

"There's such a thing as being too frightened to be a coward."
        - Fitz, "Cracker"

"I'm suprised you want to play God — the hours are even worse and there's no prospect of promotion."
        - Claire Maitland, "Cardiac Arrest"

"I'll be watching you like a hawk."
"...Well you've got the nose for it."
        - Nancy Weeks and Jonathan Pope, "Moving Wallpaper"

"I'll do anything... I mean anything for a role."
[whispers in ear]
"A snow job? What? Like gritting the roads???"
        - Suzi Amis tries to get a part from an oblivious Jonathan, "Moving Wallpaper"

"Another unwanted birthday toy shipped off to a Romanian orphanage... It's like Christmas every day for those kids."
        - Jonathan, getting an unwanted stuffed toy, "Moving Wallpaper"

"'His fear is our freedom'. Oh, that's actually a good line."
        - Tom, always the writer, on "Moving Wallpaper"

"Funboy 3."
"Dave Clark 5."
"S Club 7."
"Level 42."
"Haircut 100."
"No, I'm out."
        - Tom, losing a wordplay game to Carl, "Moving Wallpaper"

"It's only episode 3. No one's going to die. This is a seaside soap not Alien 3... Make sure the explosion is massive but non-fatal."
        - Nancy to Jonathan, "Moving Wallpaper"

"How? Where? Why? Come on, untuck your shirt, you look like you've got special needs."
        - Tom, as a heatwave forces Carl into shorts, "Moving Wallpaper"

"If we can keep our viewers while other shows are losing theirs... If we can fill the unforigving 23 minutes of primetime ITV1 drama then we'll have a hit show my friends."
        - Jonathan, with an inspirational 'If' speech, "Moving Wallpaper"

"It's Sam, I think she's got soap fever. She hasn't been home for days. The soap is her life... This is how it starts... guns... plane crashes."
        - Jonathan, after Sam comes up with some out-there plots, "Moving Wallpaper"

"It's like Stockholm Syndrome when victims fall in love with their tormentors."
        - Mel, after Sam develops a softspot for Jonathan, "Moving Wallpaper"

"Oh-oh-oh Sam, don't be a prat for all your life."
        - Jonathan's message for Sam, delivered in song by Kelly, "Moving Wallpaper"

"Why do you have to be such a twat all the time! Last night you were human."
"...Tom has written me a number of chat-up scenarios. Impersonating members of stafs is routine #7."
        - Sam and Jonathan, "Moving Wallpaper"

"Bloody actors! If I could isolate the acting gene I'd launch a biological weapon on them and make the world a better place."
        - Mel, beset by actors, "Moving Wallpaper"

"I've spent so long watching everyone else having a life - I never expected to have one myself."
        - Charlie, unprepared for events in "Echo Beach"

"You look shagged out."
"You don't. And couldn't."
        - The newsroom receptionist greets Cal, "State of Play"

"You weren't the best on offer — you were the best at the right price."
        - Stephen to Cal, "State of Play"

"They crossed the line."
"Yeah, well at least you have a line."
        - Stephen and Cal, debating a fight back, "State of Play"

"I'm the 'Rebel Rebel' of the family."
        - Ashika, on being the sole conservative in a family of socialists, "Party Animals"

"Early nights are not a good topic of conversation for monday mornings."
        - A colleague warns Ashika off a quiet weekend, "Party Animals"

"I love you Ann, I think you're wonderful. What? I mean it."
"I know you mean it but please stop meaning it. I'm not wonderful."
        - Lawrence Churchman and Ann Devenish, "Bright Hair"

"It's our fault, yours and mine. If you can't understand that you can at least shut up!"
        - Mrs. Devenish to Mr. Devenish, "Bright Hair"

"Who am I Stephen? Because I don't know anymore... Tell me who I am! Who you think am I! Who you want me to be! What you want me to be!"
        - Lyn Whalby to her husband Stephen, "Master of the Moor"

"I don't like what I am, but at least it's me."
        - Harriet Lloyd, turning her back on a twilight affair, "Cold Enough For Snow"

"We don't breed men like dad anymore... full of doubt, apologetic, smaller."
"The world is a more complicated place."
        - Young Joylon, "The Forsythe Saga"

"The strong must show that they are strong, that is their weakness."
        - Queen Elizabeth I, "Gunpowder, Plot and Treason"

"Love is not constant. It alters when it alteration finds."
        - Queen Elizabeth I (Helen Mirren), "Elizabeth I"

"Forgive me. If if was younger, or more foolish — or more alive. I would gladly take this offer."
        - Cardinal Wolsley, declining a lady of the night, "The Tudors"

"Be good. Or if you cannot be good, be the least bad you can be."
        - Sir Thomas More, with some parting advice for his family, "The Tudors"

"These bloody days have broken my heart. My lust, my youth do them depart. And blind desire of ambitious souls who haste to climb, seeks to revert. And about the throne, the thunder rolls."
        - Sir Thomas Wyatt, as plots surround the king, "The Tudors"

"Louis is too strong to keep as an enemy."
"He is too strong to be anything else. When he is finished with the Protestant Dutch who is to say he will not turn his attention to us."
        - Lord Shaftesbury, balancing powers, in "Charles II: The Power & The Passion"

"I've known many ladies of wealth and position who played the whore to perfection. But I've never before seen a whore make such a fine lady."
        - Buckingham to Nell Gwynne, in "Charles II"

"The Lord's Prayer says 'Lead us not into temptation' but you don't do that Lord. For all around me I see nothing but temptation... And deliver me from all evil, I beg you, because if you don't on your head be it. So there."
        - Moll Flanders, enduring "The Adventures and Misadventures of Moll Flanders"

"We are all on the turning wheel of fate... We all want to be good. And we all want to prosper. God grant you never have to choose."
        - Moll Flanders, "The Adventures and Misadventures of Moll Flanders"

"I am not Elizabeth... The whole world will hate me!"
        - Amanda Price, after Darcy confesses his love for her, "Lost in Austen"

"Maybe I'm like the understudy..."
        - Amanda, settling into Elizabeth's place, "Lost in Austen"

"Life at home is not rich in incident."
        - A very bored Lydia, "Lost in Austen"

"Molly, you must never trifle with the love of an honest man. You don't know what pain you may give."
        - Dr. Gibson, to his daughter, "Wives and Daughters"

"It wasn't really her I loved, I think. A notion of her I dreamed up myself. A kind of hypothetical Cynthia that never was."
        - Roger Hamley, "Wives and Daughters"

"These islands seem to be held together entirely by secrets."
        - Rochester, finding his feet in the Caribbean, "Wide Sargasso Sea"

"What would I care for gods, or devils, or fate itself, if she smiles for me?"
        - Rochester, "Wide Sargasso Sea"

"You hate me, but we will see who hates best."
        - Rochester, "Wide Sargasso Sea"

"Miss Granham, you can't leave me here alone among so many gentlemen."
"Rest assured madam, your virtue is as safe here as anywhere on the vessel."
"Dear Miss Granham, I'm sure your virtue is safe anywhere."
        - Zenobia Brocklebank and Miss Granham, "To the Ends of the Earth"

"You had best stick to schoolgirls sir!"
"I resent the plural."
        - Lt. Benet and Edmund Talbot, "To the Ends of the Earth"

"It seems I covered myself in blood but not in glory."
        - Edmund Talbot, after a gun deck accident, "To the Ends of the Earth"

"By obedience to the forces of nature we may yet outwit them."
        - Lt. Summers, To the Ends of the Earth"

"Imagine the ingenuity: Eleven ships rendezvouing at a pinpoint on the far side of the world."
        - Lt. Ralph Clarke, on course to Botany Bay, "Mary Bryant"

"I dreamt of this moment as a boy."
"And here you are — as happy as a boy."
        - Lt. Clarke and Mary, crossing the equator, "Mary Bryant"

"You there soldier. Drop your trousers. Full rigging. That's an order! ...They may have thought we were women. Well now they know."
        - Governor Phillip, with some novel diplomacy, "Mary Bryant"

"Or the biggest god-forsaken prison there ever was."
        - Mary and her fellow convicts set sights on Botany Bay, "Mary Bryant"

"Thieves, whores and fools with grand plans."
        - Elizabeth, on the settlers of Botany Bay, "Mary Bryant"

"Prison walls 14,000 miles thick."
        - William Bryant, "Mary Bryant"

"Even if they survive the sea, they'll never survive each other."
        - Governor Phillip, on the escapees, "Mary Bryant"

"We're headed for treasure!"
"Does this treasure have a latitude and longitude?"
        - Blackbeard and Robert Maynard, "Blackbeard"

"The lives of thousands of men are on the line. A tyrant is destroying Europe. Do you think that what you feel in your heart matters a damn?"
        - Commander Horatio Hornblower, "Hornblower"

"I hope that one day you will fight for more than England."
"What is there more than England?"
        - Sir Edward Pellow and Commander Horatio Hornblower, "Hornblower"

"Command is never easy sir."
"I never expected it to be easy... I did expect to be fit to serve."
        - Captain Buckland, "Hornblower"

"An officer must behave like a gentleman, even when he isn't one."
        - Major Dunnett to Lt. Richard Sharpe, "Sharpe's Rifles"

"Where'd you learn to fight so dirty sir?"
        - Private Cooper to Sharpe, "Sharpe's Rifles"

"Can't be easy for an Irishman to wear the uniform of England."
"No harder than for you to walk into the officer's mess wearing the uniform of a gentleman."
        - Sharpe and Sergeant Patrick Harper, "Sharpe's Rifles"

"Give me the box and you will be rich."
"And if I don't?"
"You will be dead."
"Hmm... well you're having the best of the argument so far."
        - Harper deals with a French agent, "Sharpe's Rifles"

"I'm Irish. John Bull's a bad neighbour. But Bonaparte's a bully. And so are you."
        - Father Curtis to Sir Henry Simmerson, "Sharpe's Sword"

"I don't like the sound of that: 'a necessary evil'."
"We were always so."
"And there was I thinking we were always on the side of the angels."
        - Harper and Sharpe, on the role of a British soldier in India, "Sharpe's Challenge"

"I have never run from battle — nor have I ever ran towards it."
        - Colonel Gudin, "Sharpe's Challenge"

"Love, honour and obey."
"Honour and obey."
        - Reilly & Margaret, "Reilly: Ace of Spies"

"Such is the logic of the English that the last place they would look for a corpse is in a graveyard."
        - Basil Zaharov, "Reilly: Ace of Spies"

"I'm not sure about this name Reilly — it's Irish!"
"Exactly. You see the Irish are welcome in every country in the world, except this one."
        - Cummings & Reilly, "Reilly: Ace of Spies"

"It will not be that easy to get the charts."
"You are a shipping agent Mr. Reilly, it will not be that difficult."
        - Reilly and a Japanese Agent, "Reilly: Ace of Spies"

Live for the present, die for the future.
        - Slogan seen on a Russian prison wall, "Reilly: Ace of Spies"

"The English love freedom, but they're not political. Spiritual but not religious. Quick-witted but not intellectual. And they are deeply, deeply, deeply suspicious of anything that smacks of art."
"And what has this got to do with me?"
"Well you are art — lived as life."
        - Byron and Brummell, "Beau Brummell"

"That's the second time you've done that. It's the kinda thing happens in Mills and Boons books. I didn't know folk did it in real life. Are you no cold yourself now?"
        - Francine, after Eddie offers her his jacket, "Taking Over the Asylum"

"It's not lying. Sometimes you just have to look somebody in the eye and tell the truth that should be instead of the truth that is."
        - Campbell, "Taking Over the Asylum"

"That stuff can take over you know?"
        - Francine, after Eddie reaches for some 'dutch courage', "Taking Over the Asylum"

"Eddie, do you not see that job's killing you?"
"No Campbell, my dreams... My dreams are killing me."
        - Campbell and Eddie, "Taking Over the Asylum"

"I'm trying to drag this place into the 20th century before the 100 years is up!"
        - Martin Fisher, risk-taking chairman in "The Manageress"

"Some girls, you look at them and you think you feel a connection. You think she's special."
"...The girl in the chemist? You felt desire, but you also felt compassion."
        - Charlie and Emma, discussing Michaela, "Secret Life"

"There is no cure... This is not a sickness."
        - Emma to Charlie

"Damaged goods Charlie, better them than a friend or neighbour's daughter."
        - Rudi, with some advice for Charlie on to deal with his desires

Day 31: I can't afford to hate them back.
        - Charlie, driven out by protesters

"You're prettier than she is, and she knows it. That's all it is."
        - Charlie to Michaela, explaining her friend's insults

"You're staring."
        - Michaela to Charlie, sharing milkshakes and chips

"You see the thing about lighthouses is that they have a very important job to do, all on their own — warning people not to come too close."
        - Charlie to Michaela

This is not easy viewing. The opposite, in fact. There is nothing nice about this film, no winners. The drawn-out scene in which Charlie goes to a fairground and approaches children is more uncomfortable than anything I've seen on television — it leaves you knotted-up inside and tense. And angry. Exactly as it's supposed to. This is serious, strong television. So, a thought-provoking drama about an extremely difficult subject, with a fine central performance by Matthew Macfadyen ... it's almost as if someone at Channel 4 stumbled across a dusty file marked "Remit".
        - Sam Wollaston, reviewing "Secret Life", "The Guardian"

You feared a harrowing denouement as he roamed the funfair later, a chillingly natural coaxer, a man with an enviable gift of befriending children - a man who seemed still to carry within him what it was to be a child... There could be no redemption for Charlie. He had proved something to himself but not to us... as if we were to blame for it. Or, perhaps, as if to say that he wouldn't blame us if we had been.
        - Phil Hogan, on the ending of "The Secret Life", "The Observer"

Macfadyen’s performance, reflecting every nuance of compulsion, self-loathing, fear, desire and, indeed, fear of desire in this deeply conflicted character, was remarkable to say the least... In one extraordinary scene, we saw him slough off his skin of repression and blossom into a deeply disturbing (for us) kind of happy normality (for him) in the presence of a responsive little girl. But one superb performance and a few insightful scenes don’t add up to a great, or even especially good drama overall.
        - Gerard O'Donovan, "The Telegraph"


"Now is not the time to be having a one night stand with your conscience."
        - DCI Gene Hunt to DI Sam Tyler, "Life on Mars"

"Super wouldn't agree with you. I don't agree with you! My budgie wouldn't agree with you!"
        - Gene to Sam

"Do you keep a journalist chained in your basement for random beatings?"
        - Sam to Gene, on his attitude to journos

"Don't move, you are surrounded by armed bastards!"
        - DCI Gene Hunt

"She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot."
        - DCI Gene Hunt

"Now you're just showing off!"
        - Gene, after Sam rescues him in style

I've always thought that the writers have borrowed heavily from Philip K. Dick. My theory is that Sam's accident somehow flipped him into an alternate universe where he takes over the persona of an alternate version of himself who lives in a 1970s time. Where alternate Sam's mind has gone, who knows? May be he's trapped in the 2006/7 Sam's comatose brain. Sam still has a connection to his body in our world but needs something to trigger the switch back. I guess just coming out of the coma might do it.
        - Mandark's "Life on Mars" theory on the Digital Spy forum

One of the things that made Life on Mars unusual is — was — that by its very nature it couldn't reveal its genre until its very last episode. Was the show SF — had Sam Tyler travelled from his, and our, time to 1973? — or fantasy — was Sam insane, fabricating memories of a reality that just happened to be identical to ours? — or mimetic — was Sam in a coma following his accident, hallucinating 1973 as an extended metaphor for his predicament?
        - Abigail Nussbaum, on her "Asking the Wrong Questions" blogspot

"Blimey! If that skirt was hitched up any higher I could see what you had for breakfast."
        - Gene Hunt greets an undercover Alex Drake, "Ashes to Ashes"

"Can you get me a change of clothes? I would like to change out of red before Chris de Burgh writes a song about me."
        - Alex to Constable 'Shazz' Granger

"Up until the last second I'm gonna be out there making a difference."
        - Gene Hunt

"Special Branch are as nervous as a virgin in a brothel."
        - Gene Hunt

"Let her do her stuff for a minute and then break the bloody doors down."
        - Gene Hunt, giving Alex a short rope

"I will not have the aristocracy of this country blown to bloody bits on my watch."
        - Gene Hunt

"You appear to be drunk in charge of a handbag and dressed like a tart again."
        - Gene Hunt, welcoming a worse-for-wear Alex

"We're police officers. We can drive fast cars. We can shout at people. We can do something. We can make a difference."
        - Gene Hunt

"That's the trouble being posh. There's always somebody posher."
        - Gene, about yuppies


"I can't believe you're Shelley's mum. You look far too young."
"You can't be looking close enough."
"You're right. The neck. I can see the neck now. That's the giveaway."
        - Eric (Peter Kay) meets Bev in the Rover's Return, "Coronation Street"

"We've just as much right to be here as them and our money's just as good as theirs. Not that I'm a socialist, mind. I don't want you thinking that. Anyway, let's just keep politics out of it tonight. And religion. Are you Catholic? Never mind. I don't want to know."
        - Eric (Peter Kay) takes Shelley to an upmarket restaurant, "Coronation Street"

"If she was half as good at pulling pints as she is at pulling fellas..."
        - Liz McDonald assesses the new Rovers barmaid, "Coronation Street"

"I got Tracy Barlow pregnant. She stalked me and then cancelled my wedding behind my back. I've got a baby daughter no one knows about, who's being looked after by the Croppers. Roy thinks he's the baby's father as does his transsexual partner Hayley."
        - Steve McDonald updates his brother Andy on recent events on "Coronation Street"

"Why do we always end up like this?"
        - Steve McDonald, after stopping his ex-girlfriend from killing his wife, "Coronation Street"

"With a little sprog following you around where are you going to find time to throw yourself at all the men?"
        - Steve McDonald, to Tracey Barlow, "Coronation Street"

"Going out with a 16 year old doesn't usually end in murder."
"Well it did this time didn't it?"
        - Martin Platt and Janice Battersby, "Coronation Street"

"What could possibly be better in Vernon's world? He's got a girlfriend who owns a pub."
        - Lloyd, on "Coronation Street"

"What's your favourite rhyming slang for piles? Is it Johnny Giles? Nobby Styles?"
"Plymouth Argyles? Four minute miles?"
        - The cabbies wait for a call on "Coronation Street"

"What will I talk to him about? I don't find it easy to converse with morons."
        - Norris, dreading the thought of small talk, "Coronation Street"

"Whatever conversational gems are passing between Jack Duckworth and Steve McDonald, they are not more important than the downfall of your family."
        - Audrey to a distracted Gail, "Coronation Street"

"It was another age."
"Yes but was it better?"
"It was for us."
        - Emily, Norris and Rita, looking back, "Coronation Street"

"It's like the Village of the Damned in there. A hen party for hens that think they're for the pot."
        - Fred Elliot, not impressed by Shelley's party, "Coronation Street"

"Still, you're getting on now: if you're miserable, you won't have that long to ensure it."
         - Blanche Hunt to Fred, before his wedding, "Coronation Street"

"I'll never be that sad and desperate again."
        - Janice Battersby, reflecting on marriage to Les, "Coronation Street"

"No wonder our Todd turned to fellas if this is the amount of stick he got from you!"
        - Jason Grimshaw, following his brother's path by dumping Sarah Louise Platt, "Coronation Street"

"You've no more daughters have you?"
"No. You've no more sons?"
"No, she's gone through both of 'em now. End of an era."
        - Eileen Grimshaw and Gail Platt, after Jason and Sarah Louise's bust-up, "Coronation Street"

"The closer I get to the factory the more I'm convinced I'm gonna' have to deck him by the end of the day."
        - Danny Baldwin, about to lose it with Adam Baldwin, "Coronoation Street"

"I don't do violence unless I'm assured of winning — which I very seldom am."
        - Gary, "Eastenders"

"Our Bradley's a bit soft, and your Stacey, well, she's a bit hard. I thought if we got the two of them together they might balance each other out?"
       - Jim to Charlie, playing cupid with the wrong couple, "Eastenders"

"There is a world outside your TV set and the Vic."
        - Pat Evans to Kevin Wicks, "Eastenders"

"It is a grievous sin, taking another's life."
"Casting the first stone, are we Dot?"
        - Dot Cotton and Jake Moon, "Eastenders"

"You're going to be the most hated man in Walford."
"I've held that title since the mid-nineties!"
        - Jane to Ian Beale, "Eastenders"

"Hello, Dad. Had a nice day?"
        - Steve and Ian Beale, "Eastenders"

"You've two sons as well, I hear."
"Well three actually, but only two of them live with me."
"It's so hard to get Jane to tell me anything about you. All I know is that your wife died."
"Two of them did."
"You've been married twice?"
"Three times."
        - Ian Beale meets his future mother-in-law, "Eastenders"

"Who is going to bring it back?"
        - A librarian, after Stan borrows a book on suicide, "The Street"

"I'm the kind of man that's easily ignored."
        - Stan, "The Street"


"Don’t mention the war. I did, but I think I got away with it."
        - Basil Fawlty, "Fawlty Towers"

"What's going on, what's all that shouting? This is a local shop for local people: we'll have no trouble here!"
        - Edward, "The League of Gentlemen"

"I've never said it before because I'm too nice, but your son has the cold, dead eyes of a killer."
       - Bernard, "Black Books"

"The cat dies tonight! Can I be any clearer than that?"
        - Bernard, engaging an exterminator, "Black Books"

"If it weren't for you that cat would be in hell by now being chased by giant mice."
        - Bernard is thwarted by Manny, "Black Books"

"All the shy people are doomed! Natural selection favours the loud and aggressive."
        - Bernard advises Manny in the ways of romance, "Black Books"

"The music was loud, the food was cold, the drinks were few and the people many."
        - Bernard is unimpressed with the party, "Black Books"

"It's a moment when the whole nation comes together. Like the opening of a Richard Curtis movie or the manhunt for a serial killer."
        - Manny, describing Britain's Grand National race, "Black Books"

"I am from Ireland and I read all the books on Ireland and if I find any inaccuracies or stereotypes I ask my small friends to go round and sort them out."
        - The "Big Impression" does Bernard from "Black Books"

"Hello. I'm Kirsty Allsop... there's a lot of misinformation out there about houses — most of it from children's stories."
        - the "Dead Ringers" team do "Location, Location, Location"

"What's the difference between a dog and a fox? About eight pints."
        - Foxy, The Office (cue *boom* *boom*)

"We all wake up and we go, 'Oh, I ache, I'm not 18 any more, you know, I'm thirty ni— ... you know, I'm in my thirties, I'm not — but so what, at least I've got my health.' And if you haven't got your health, if you've got one leg, at least I haven't got two legs missing. And if you have lost both legs and both arms, just go, 'At least I'm not dead.' I'd rather be dead in that situation, to be honest. I'm not saying people like that should be, you know, put down. I'm saying that, in my life, I'd rather not live without arms and legs because — I'm just getting into yoga, for one thing. So ..."
        - David Brent, "The Office"

"There's the headline: TV star drinks himself to death."
"Don't be silly. You're not a star and the fat will kill you before the drink."
        - Maggie and Andy, "Extras"

"I would never pay for a prostitute who looked like that."
        - Clive Owen, putting the boot in to Maggie on "Extras"

"It's not an exam, you know, your love life. You can't study for it and hope to know the right answers."
        - Rescue Me

"With you, I'm going to be happy forever. And I'm very lucky, because most probably without you I would be lonely forever."
        - Geraldine, "The Vicar of Dibley"

"I'm fine. When everything's going ok I keep imagining all the things that can go wrong. Now that something's gone wrong, its just a rush."
        - Ted, "Father Ted"

"What was it he used to say about the needy? He had a term for them?"
"A shower of bastards."
        - Ted and Dougal, remembering Jack, "Father Ted"

"Are you up to your old tricks, Tom?"
"No, Father. It's my money. I just didn't want to fill out the forms."
        - Ted and Tom, after Tom walks out of post office with his shotgun, "Father Ted"

"The total disregard you showed for his privacy and our safety today. Totally amazing... I couldn't have done it without you... Goodnight Holmes."
"Goodnight Watson."
        - Raymond & Allison, "Bachelor's Walk"

"The way you do the things you do Raymond — you can't expect not to get hurt a few times."
        - Allison, "Bachelor's Walk"

"Howdy. Nice suit. What's the occasion?"
"I don't understand — what was this? A test?"
"Maybe. To see if you really cared about my happiness... I didn't want to to think I was waiting around for you..."
"But you were?"
"Yeah but any longer and I would have been snapped up."
       - Allison & Raymond, at her 'test' wedding, "Bachelor's Walk"

"Jesus man, you look like a geography teacher. What's the story with your hair?"
        - Barry, with some home truths for Michael, "Bachelor's Walk"

"Are you out celebrating?"
"No, no, no. Just drinking."
        - Jane and Michael, "Bachelor's Walk"

"Seriously man Rachel is a fox. I'd love to — eh... well done."
        - Barry after Michael gets his act together, "Bachelor's Walk"

"I didn't hit one of them. That was woeful shooting, woeful like."
        - The Kid, going down in a hail of bullets, "Six Shooter"

"Why didn't you say something?"
"'Cos I thought you'd feel stupid if you knew you were chasing the wrong bus."
"Yeah, I do."
        - David and Claire, "The Honeymooners"

"Well, it was lovely, sitting directly opposite you. I'm Lawrence by the way."
        - Lawrence (Bill Nighy), making a connection with Geena, "The Girl in the Cafe"

"Don't think because I'm not saying much that I wouldn't like to say a lot."
        - Lawrence to Geena, "The Girl in the Cafe"

"Real life can be very badly written."
        - Jonathon, "Jonathon Creek"

"Can I ask you not to sit like that? He's interpreting it as a display of sexual dominance."
        - Ingrid, on her gorilla, to a policeman, "Jonathon Creek"

"It is easier for a rich man to enter a camel if he stands on a box."
        - Jonathon Creek, unimpressed with a cult's preachings...

"Excuse me, have you seen this man?"
"I think he was in here last Thursday. Look at those eyes, what's he done? Chopped someone up or something?"
"Interesting... this is a picture of the speaker of the US House of Representatives Newt Gingrich."
        - Jonathon Creek, questioning a witness's reliability

"It isn't fair what people keep saying about him. They'd tell you he'd sell his own mother."
"I heard that on very good authority."
"Who from?"
"The two blokes who bought his mother."
       - Ingrid & Fletch, "Porridge"

"I'm harsh but fair. I want you to know I treat you all with equal comtempt."
        - Sergeant Mackay to Godber, "Porridge"

"You're messing with evolution there."
        - Max to Paddy when he feeds pork scratchings to a pig, "Max & Paddy's Road To Nowhere"

"I look like a rent boy from 'Love Boat'."
"Women love a man in uniform."
"Do they? Let's go out dressed as Nazis then and see how far we get."
        - Max and Paddy, dressed to impress, "Max & Paddy's Road To Nowhere"

"I did tell you the facts of life didn't I sweetie?"
"If you mean that time you sat on my bed and shook me awake at 2:00 in the morning, stoned out of your brain, and slurred into my ear 'By the way sweetie, people have it off,' then yes, you told me the facts of life."
        - Eddie & Saff, "Absolutely Fabulous"

"I'd like to point out that, despite my suit and my general demeanour, I'm not gay. Unless you're watching in Newcastle and by gay you mean: owns a coat. I hope I haven't offended anyone in Newcastle, assuming that anyone in Newcastle is watching TV and not outside naked, fighting."
       - Jimmy Carr, debonair host of "Distraction"

"Note to self: must get some post-its. This dictaphone's becoming quite unwieldy."
        - Mark Lamarr, organising his hosting of "Never Mind The Buzzcocks"

"Kate is amazing. She had medical knowledge, she likes football, she can even spell 'Ugo Ehiogu' !"
        - Johnnie has found the perfect girl, "Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps"

"I have to be very careful don't I?"
"Yes, say the words 'I wish' with the same caution you would normally reserve for 'Please castrate me'."
        - Bernard and the Genie, in "Bernard and the Genie"

"During the festive season we must not forget those who are less fortunate than ourselves."
"The poor?"
"Indeed. They may attempt to burgle your house while you are at church."
        - Mr Cholmandy-Warner, "Harry Enfield & Chums"

"Basically, the plain and simple purpose of education must be to teach children, young people, not—I repeat, not—to break into my car... Of course, I am concerned that young people shouldn't break into other people's cars too, but I think that's more of an ethical question and not really the province of government."
        - from "Fry & Laurie"

"Women not equal to one man. In Kazakhstan we say God, Man, Horse, Dog, Woman, Rat."
        - Borat helps Republican candidate James Broadwater, "Borat's Television Programme"

"Imagine what we could do. Smash the NHS, disenfranchise women, reintroduce slavery."
        - Alan B'Stard, "The New Statesman"

"Fan of daytime TV? Why? No got job? Afraid of hard work?"
        - Banzai!

"Do you want to donate money for a birthday card to the Queen?"
"No, the Queen is the anti-christ"
"Excuse me, WHAT?"
"Wait, no...the Queen is an anarchist"
"What?" [ getting more & more perplexed & angry ]
"Sorry...what do you call an out of date thing?"
"An anachronism."
"Yes, thats it, the Queen is an anachronism"
        - The Thin Blue Line

"To go boldly, laddie. Don't split your infinitives."
"Captain Kirk does."
"Captain Kirk regularly accepts figures painted blue with plastic forehead extensions as beings from another planet. I think we may readily dismiss him as an authority on anything."
        - Constable Goody and Inspector Fowler, "The Thin Blue Line"

"I'm going to find a toilet."
"Nick, there isn't one."
"Then I'll start one. Honestly, some people... no initiative."
        - The Harper family are trapped on a tube train, "My Family"

"I met this really weird guy."
"Nice weird?"
"We've come to the arse of the world Mum, what do you think?"
        - Kate and Lisa Shore, "Distant Shores"

"There's so much chemistry between us we'll probably end up having test-tube babies."
        - Art, about how well things are going with Charlie, "My Life In Film"

"Do you ever notice the way that whenever you throw up, you can always see diced carrots? Now, I have *never* eaten diced carrots in my life. There must be some organisation of perverts going around, following drunk men..."
        - Billy Connolly

"The philosophy exam was a piece of cake — which was a bit of a surprise, actually, because I was expecting some questions on a sheet of paper."
        - Smith & Jones

"If there is such a thing as reincarnation, knowing my luck, I’ll come back as me."
        - Rodney Trotter, "Only Fools And Horses"

"Where'd you get those aces from?"
"Same place you got those kings. I always knew you were cheating, Boycie."
"Yeah, how?"
"'Cause that wasn't the hand that I dealt you."
        - Boycie and Delboy, "Only Fools and Horses"

"Young Justin's giving me GBH of the earholes."
        - Arthur Daley, trying to clear his thoughts, "Minder"

"Look after her indoors. Don't tell her too much."
        - Arthur to Terry, fearing the worst, "Minder"

"People in his situation who ain't worried — well, they worry me."
        - Terry, minding a newly released convict, "Minder"

"He's got the longest pockets and the shortest arms."
        - Terry, about Arthur, "Minder"

"Lunch? I didn't get where I am today worrying about my creature comforts!"
        - An unhappy Terry, paraphrasing Arthur, "Minder"

"If you're ever offered a job as a getaway driver turn it down."
        - Arthur, unimpressed by Justin's driving, "Minder"

[At A Police Line Up]
R : Hello lads, what are you doing here ?
H : We dunno - a bomb went off 200 miles away, and they suddenly came around and arrested us.
S : I hope we're not IRA.
H : Ah, well, it is a highly secretive organisation. We wouldn't know if we were…
        - Richie, Hedgehog & Spudgun, "Bottom"

"Yes, we did cross swords when the Minister gave me a grilling over the estimates in the Public Accounts Committee."
"I wouldn't say that."
"You came up with all of the questions I hoped nobody would ask."
"Opposition is about asking awkward questions."
"And government is about not answering them."
"Well, you answered all mine anyway."
"I'm glad you thought so, Minister."
        - Sir Humphey & Minister Jim Hacker, "Yes Minister"

Jim Hacker: "I suppose we have got rather fond of one another, in a way."
Sir Humphrey: "In a way, yes."
Jim: "Rather like a terrorist and his hostage."
Bernard: "Which one of you is the terrorist?"
Jim and Sir Humphrey: "He is."
        - Yes Minister, "The Devil You Know"

"Well, it's clear that the committee has agreed that your new policy is a really excellent plan but in view of some of the doubts being expressed, may I propose that I recall that after careful consideration, the considered view of the committee was that while they considered that the proposal met with broad approval in principle, that some of the principles were sufficiently fundamental in principle and some of the considerations so complex and finely balanced in practice, that, in principle, it was proposed that the sensible and prudent practice would be to submit the proposal for more detailed consideration, laying stress on the essential continuity of the new proposal with existing principles, and the principle of the principle arguments which the proposal proposes and propounds for their approval, in principle."
        - Sir Humprey's longest sentence, "Yes Minister"

"I've never been at a burial scenario before."
        - Gus, worried about a funeral, "Drop the Dead Donkey"

"George, it's not often I complain but why have I been given the mad cow item?"
        - Sally, "Drop the Dead Donkey"

"Over the last twenty-five years, I have read the news drunk, concussed, stoned, with a live stoat in my underpants and once on regional television with my trousers round my ankles and a Lithuanian prostitute under the news desk..."
        - Henry, recalling the good times, "Drop the Dead Donkey"


"Who do you support? Mark's Israel. I'm Palestine. Makes the news more interesting."
        - Jeremy

"I hate political correctness gone mad more than anything. I don't want to teach the world to sing. That would be horrible. But slavery, the holocaust, that's just not on. But I Have A Dream, South Africa, Benetton, you've got to say, fair enough."
        - Mark

"You can't laugh at someone you don't trust. It was like when mother sang 'The Lumberjack Song' after her affair.
        - Mark

Do a Columbo! Do a Columbo!
        - Mark, needing to ask one more question to find April

"She's got the magic combination of beauty and low self esteem."
        - Mark, about April

"You're stalking her?"
"No, it's a passionate, romantic gesture."
        - Jeremy, as Mark pursues April to university

Come on, she can only hurt you emotionally.
        - Mark, urging himself to take a chance with April

This is ok. This is just a moment that'll haunt me forever.
        - Mark, watching April go

"I'm bored. Dangerously bored!"
        - Jeremy, considering badger-baiting

"This is bad, very bad. The canal — perfect venue for the emotional bumpoff 'cos if I start screaming there's no one to hear. On the plus side, she's obviously confident I'm not a potential murderer."
        - Jeremy thinks he's about to be dumped by Nancy

"How's the love life?"
"Love life may be a rather grandiose term for staring at women on the bus."
        - Sophie and Mark

"He probably thought I as going to punch him whereas actually I was going to use the Buddhist as a human shield."
       - Mark, after he 'deals' with Jeff

"You were going to 'twat some geezer'? What, were you playing the Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels video game?"
        - Mark, after Jeremy hangs out with Jeff

"You've got to toughen up. This is the 21st century. You've seen Mad Max haven't you. That's what's going to happen!"
"Mad Max is not necessarily going to happen."
"Oh sure mate. You live in your Hitchikers' Guide world where you wander around in your dressing gown and have a nice cup of tea."
        - Jeremy and Mark

"I'm not a student, I'm a real person."
        - Jeremy, accused of shoplifting

"Those kids know nothing of the battle of Stalingrad. Although I can't compare my reading of the book with the struggle of the Red Army; it was a big read."
        - Mark

Relax, Mark. You're not Hitler in his bunker. He was really under the cosh. Mind you, at least he had a girlfriend.
        - Mark

So here we go. Watch without prejudice. I'm just testing the water... There's nothing to be afraid of. The Romans liked it and they got a lot done... Maybe I'm bi-curious.
        - Mark, questioning his sexuality

"She's like some kind of drug... But with nicer hair."
        - Jeremy, about Toni's effect on her

Winter's coming. Is this Stalingrad? Is this where it all ends?
        - Mark, as Sophie slips away

"That's wrong with revenge and plagues and pestilence and all that?"
"Exactly! Suddenly you can't wreak revenge?"
"It's political correctness gone mad."
"Jeremy, have you seen Strangers On A Train? ...It's about these two guys who take care of each other's enemies."
        - Jeremy and Mark, planning revenge

I've made a psycho call to the woman I love, I've kicked a dog to death, and now I'm going to pepper-spray an acquaintance. I mean, what's happened to me?
        - Mark, on a revenge mission

No leaping to attention Captain Corrigan.
        - Mark, undressing for a nurse

"Listen, Jeremy. You don't understand. Nothing you want will ever happen. That's the real world. Your hair isn't red. People don't walk on stilts. Maybe somewhere, you can earn a living drinking margaritas through a straw but in this world, you've got to turn up, log on and grind out."
        - Mark, trying to snap Jeremy out of it

"There's only so much happiness in the world and they're hoarding it all!"
"That's not how happiness works!" (It completely is.)
        - Jez, Mark and Mark's monologue

"Dancing? I... I love dancing." (It makes me look like a coma victim being stood up and zapped with a cattle prod)
        - Mark, to Sophie

Yeah, you won't be so cocky Jeff, when I come into the office with a Kalashnikov and 200 rounds of ammunition. I'm probably exactly the kind of person who could end up doing something like that.
        - Mark, daydreaming about going postal

You're not going to out-hippie me you ***king hippie!
        - Jeremy, as Gwyn tries to upstage him

"People like Coldplay and voted for the Nazis. You can't trust people Jeremy."
        - Super Hans

"Frosties are just Cornflakes for people who can't face reality."
        - Mark

"While we’re at it, there are systems for a reason in this world. Economical stability, interest rates, growth. It’s not all a conspiracy to keep you in little boxes. Alright? It’s only the miracle of consumer capitalism that means you’re not lying in your own s**t, dying at 43, with rotten teeth."
        - Mark

"I couldn't have planned this better if I'd murdered her myself."
        - Jeremy, in line for an inheritance from a dead aunt

"He's a monk. He's going to have 15 years of spunk built up. How am I gonna compete with that?"
        - Jeremy meets his ex's current beau

"Drinking alone, what's the big deal? Why's it necessarily a bad thing? If you drink a bottle of vodka and there's a bloke sitting next to you does that somehow make it alright? Why have I never thought about drinking during the day before?"
        - Jeremy, going through a bad patch

"Am I enjoying this any more? Doesn't matter... got to win the war for the Nazis!"
        - Mark, unable to drag himself away from his Blitzkrieg game

"How can Mark be in love with Big Suze? It's like Swaziland trying to invade China!"
        - Jeremy, as Mark makes a play for his ex

"Have you told her you love her?"
"Are you kidding? That's like firing first in a duel. If you miss you're f*cked."
        - Jeremy and Mark, about Sophie

"Isn't there a slim chance I might, you know, die?"
        - Mark, offered some illegal drugs

I've gotta hit my good points: I'm dependable, but not afraid of the occasional premium lager.
        - Mark, about to meet Sophie's parents

"I've love..." Or my fear of loneliness and her wanting to get pregnant by almost anyone as long as it happns this year.
        - Mark, keeping his thoughts to himself with Sophie's Dad

"The Magical Breakup Hospital."
        - Jeremy, on Mark's overly-optimistic plan for breaking up with Sophie

I looked like an Evil Overlord.
        - Mark, shaving off his Sophie-inspired beard

This is what men want and we shouldn't be allowed to have it because it's horrible.
        - Mark, with his laptop in a lapdancing club

"I've got two pieces of bad news, one related to me and one for you. Which you want first?"
        - Mark, telling it like it is to Jeremy

She's getting dangerously close to my web of lies...
        - Mark, as Sophie joins the gym

Maybe I should have just killed him. I should know how to kill someone by now, I've watched enough CSI.
        - Mark, after his over-elaborate smear campaign against Matt.

He's come somewhere where he's allowed to punch and kick me!
        - Mark, after Matt joins his judo lesson

"It's alright Jez, use your woman as a human shield!"
        - Mark, hiding behind Sophie as Matt comes at him

"How many missed calls have you got?"
"I've got 28."
"That's bulls**t. I've got 73."
        - Mark and Jeremy, hiding on the wedding day

"If she wants a PR war she'll get a PR war. I'll Mandelson her!"
        - Mark, as Sophie returns to work

"Mark, you're not trying to pretend you're a normal human being are you?"
        - Dobbie, seeing through Mark's pretence

"I'm out of my depth. What do I do? Put the kettle on? The sound of the kettle might drown out her tears."
        - Mark, unsure of how to deal with Sazz

Money can't buy you love but apparently a furnished flat can get you a reasonable simulation.
        - Mark, as Sazz plays along

Everything that can kill a man is fascinating. Guns, electric chairs, paracetamol, lead piping...
        - Mark, looking for Jeremy's gun

"So basically, you're my dad now and you give me pocket money!?!"
        - Jeremy, after his parents leave Mark in charge of his inheritance

I've never done glue. Never boffed a tranny. I've barely lived.
        - Jeremy, after a Super Hans conversation

Dobby, the acceptable face of woman. I hardly have to modify my behaviour at all in her company.
        - Mark thinks Dobby is The One

"You'll be fine mate. Just stick to missionary. You're a sexual civilian, leave the disgusting stuff to me."
        - Jeremy, with some advice for Mark

The familiar gut-punch of pain and confusion is back.
 Hello old friend.
        - Mark, dumped again

Five series of a comedy about flatmates would stretch the ingenuity of most writers but this team shows an extraordinary ability to create fresh humiliations.
        - Mark Lawson, on "Peep Show"

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