• David Hockney, whose pictures I absolutely love but whose personality is different.
  • [on Boris Johnson] He's an ugly man inside and out.
  • [writing in 2006] I was stupid once and allowed myself to accept an MBE, partly to please my mum, who was always afraid that my big mouth would get us deported from here, as we were from Uganda. Then the poet Benjamin Zephaniah shamed me live on Channel 4 news, just as the Iraq war was building up and my republicanism was solidifying. I returned the lovely object and have had to put up with scorn ever since, some deserved. But I now speak with the zeal of a convert. The Honours system sucks and we should start again, devise a fair and independent new method to annually acclaim exceptional citizens for their contribution to the nation, not to overweening political parties or the semi-skilled, dysfunctional Windsors.