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Whilst we all may have different views of the Phil, here are his words, that to me, sum him up:

Celebrities

To pop star Tom Jones in 1969: ‘What do you gargle with, pebbles.’

More on Tom Jones: ‘It's hard to see how he is popular. He sings the most hideous songs.’

On Elton John, in 2001: ‘I wish he'd turn the microphone off.’

To Elton John in 2001: ‘So it's you that owns that ghastly car is it?’

On hearing Madonna was to perform in 2002: ‘Are we going to need earplugs?’

His job

Visiting Canada, 1969: ‘I declare this thing open, whatever it is.’

Visiting Canada in 1976: ‘We don't come here for our health. We can think of other ways of enjoying ourselves.’

Shouted to the Queen during an official visit to Belize in 1994: ‘Yak, yak, yak; come on get a move on.’

To an RAF photographer at a Battle of Britain commemoration, 2015: ‘Just take the f***ing picture.’

On his 1986 tour of Beijing, and his impression of Stoke-On-Trent in 1997: ‘Ghastly.’

To survivors of the Lockerbie terrorist atrocity, in 1993: ‘People usually say that after a fire it is water damage that is the worst. We are still drying out Windsor Castle.’

On opening the new British Embassy in Berlin in 2000: ‘It's a vast waste of space.’

His family

On Prince Andrew and Fergie’s extravagant house in 1988: ‘It looks like a tart's bedroom.’

On a 1974 IRA kidnap attempt made against Princess Anne: ‘If the man had succeeded in abducting Anne, she would have given him a hell of a time while in captivity.’

On Princess Anne: ‘If it doesn't fart or eat hay, she's not interested.’

To the Queen on her coronation: ‘Where did you get that hat?’

On Prince William’s desire to drop out of university: 'He needs to knuckle down and not wimp out.’

To Princess Di on her anguish over Prince Charles’ infidelity: ‘I am quite ready to concede that I have no talent as a marriage counsellor.’

The marginalised

During the British economic downturn of 1981: ‘Everybody was saying we must have more leisure. Now they are complaining they are unemployed’.

On mental health care in the modern armed forces, 1995: ‘We didn't have counsellors rushing around every time somebody let off a gun, asking “Are you all right? Are you sure you don't have a ghastly problem?” You just got on with it.’

Talking to a deaf couple who were standing near a live band in 1999: ‘Deaf? If you are near there, no wonder you are deaf.’

To a young child who said he wanted to go into space, in 2001: ‘You're too fat to be an astronaut.’

To a blind woman in 2002: ‘Do you know they're now producing eating dogs for anorexics?’

To a disabled pensioner in a motor scooter, 2012: ‘How many people have you knocked over this morning on that thing?’

To an elderly man at the Charterhouse almshouse, 2017: ‘You look starved.’

Racism and cultural insensitivity:

At 1986 WWF event: ‘If it has got four legs and it is not a chair, if it has got two wings and it flies but is not an aeroplane, and if it swims and it is not a submarine, the Cantonese will eat it.’

During a visit to Scotland in 1995: ‘How do you keep the natives off the booze long enough to get them through the test?’

To school children in Cardiff in 2012: ‘You must have really good brains to speak Welsh.’

Referring to a fuse box during a 1999 factory visit: ‘It looks as if it was put in by an Indian.’

Talking to a British student in China in 1986: ‘If you stay here much longer, you'll all be slitty-eyed.’

Taking a gift from Kenyan woman in 1984: ‘You are a woman, aren't you?’

Speaking to a British man in Budapest in 1993: ‘You can't have been here that long - you haven't got a pot belly.’

Speaking to a wealthy Cayman Islander in 1994: "’Aren't most of you descended from pirates?’

Speaking to fellow visitors to Papua New Guinea in 1998: ‘You managed not to get eaten, then?’

To an indigenous Australian business person, in 2002: ‘Do you still throw spears at each other?’

In France, 2002: ‘The French don't know how to cook breakfast.’

Sexism:

To a Scottish female politician, regarding tartan: ‘Do you have a pair of knickers made out of this?’

‘British women can't cook’ (1966).

To a female council worker wearing a dress which featured a prominent zip, 2012: ‘I would get arrested if I unzipped that dress.’

On marriage: ‘When a man opens a car door for his wife, it's either a new car or a new wife.”

Australia:

On refusing to touch a koala in 1992: ‘Oh no, I might catch some ghastly disease.’

Himself

On turning 90 in 2011: ‘Bits are beginning to drop off.’

On the Queen’s choice to name her children Windsor, rather than Mountbatten: ‘I'm just a bloody amoeba.’

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And people who discuss governments / politics on Internet forums

Kofi Annan died today, previous Secretary General of the UN. A most remarkable person within the limited possibilities of his job. When I celebrated my 50th birthday ( not long ago,  lots of laughter

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