Friday, August 7, 2009

Did I say that?

On early days at the Royal Court Theatre

It was like a bag of bitches in there. They were vicious (2000)

On "My Beautiful Launderette"

There were no other films like that around back then. Now all films are gay (2007)

On reading

I've never read a book beyond 100 pages (2008)

On religious certainty

We who are liberals whirl in a meaningless vertigo of doubt all the time, but if you're religious you know where you're going all the time. I'd love that (2007)

On losing his virginity at the same time his father was having a heart attack

I knew then that wherever I went and whatever I did, he was, like God, always watching and condemning (2004)

On his sons

They're mostly like Ali G - they do tough gangsta things, they've got hoods on. But no more middle-class boys could you imagine (2004)

On spotting a woman in his son's playground wearing a burqa

If I was a teacher I would say: "Take that off." Behind closed doors you can be a transvestite or wear a Nazi uniform. But you can't go into a school playground wearing a Nazi uniform (2009)

On women

I don't understand anything about women whatsoever (2003)

After a night in Hastings

If England didn't have London, it'd be a f***ing dump (2003)

On writing students

When you switch on the TV and a student has gone mad with a machine gun on a campus in America, it's always a writing student. Writing courses, particularly when they have the word "creative" in them, are the new mental hospitals (2008)

On having a CBE bestowed upon him

The best thing about it is on the medal it says: "For God And Empire". No better things in the world, as you can imagine (2008)

On "The Black Album" being called post-racial

A way of saying that there're not many Pakis in it (2009)

On his psychoanalysis

I woke up in the middle of the night in my hotel room on my knees crying, believing that I'd turned into a dolphin, and I had a very strong desire to ring my analyst and tell him this. So I can report to you that I'm moving ahead slowly (2008)

Compiled by John Hind

The Observer, Sunday 2 August 2009

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