As usual, we were subject to verbal diarrhoea and celebrity hot air. But this year there were some great turns of phrase. 

Here Paul Donnelley takes a look at 50 of the funniest, wisest and most outrageous quotes of 2021 — but can you remember who said them?

1 Who described the downside of staying at his Ibiza villa in the following terms: ‘It wasn’t all plain sailing. I was locked in with my mother in-law for 16 days, 11 hours and 36 minutes.’

A) Simon Cowell 

B) James Blunt

C) Richard Madeley 

D) Craig David

Jennifer Saunders (pictured) at the 'Onward' film premiere in February 2020

Jennifer Saunders (pictured at the “Onward” film premiere on February 20, 2020

2 Who defended the right of women to dress the way they want: ‘If you love it wear it — and ignore everybody else’?

A. Twiggy 

B) Jennifer Saunders

C) Sandi Toksvig 

D. Prue Leith

3 ‘We’re just trying to work out whether we slept together. Once you get to our age you forget’ who said this after bumping into Coronation Street veteran Bill Roache, 89.

A) Maggie Smith 

Joan Collins

C) Judi Dench 

D. Jilly Cooper

4 Which breakfast show host did Australian comedian Barry Humphries apparently mistakenly congratulate on admitting his homosexuality: ‘When you came out… Your bravery was amazing’?

Phillip Schofield 

B) Dermot O’Leary

C) Ben Shephard 

D) Toby Anstis

Ben Shephard (pictured) on the Good Morning Britain Christmas Special TV show last week

Ben Shephard (pictured below) was featured on Good Morning Britain’s Christmas Special last week 

5 Who said: ‘I was maybe the most persecuted woman in Royal history but I’m still here. The bruised reed that doesn’t break is in my DNA’?

A) The Duchess Of Cornwall 

B. Duchess Of York

C) The Princess Royal 

D) Countess de Wessex

6 Which comedian condemned the online cancel culture: ‘What we have now is the digital equivalent of the medieval mob roaming the streets looking for someone to burn’?

A) Rowan Atkinson 

B) John Cleese

C) Michael Palin 

D) Michael McIntyre

7 Which TV presenter was fed up that Barclays bank lectured their customers on personal pronouns: ‘I think I liked it when banks just offered competitive interest rates’?

Austin A. 

B) Clive Myrie

C) Colin Brazier 

D) Rageh Omaar

8 At the start of the year which jetsetter gave up a jaunt to the Caribbean when the rest of the country was in lockdown: ‘It didn’t seem right to be drinking banana daiquiris on the beach when everyone else is cooped up’?

A) Liz Hurley 

Sir Phillip Green

C) Simon Cowell 

D) Elle Macpherson

Simon Cowell (pictured) on the panel of ITV's Britain's Got Talent

Simon Cowell (pictured) is on ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent Panel 

9 As Washington DC erupted in violence on January 6, which newsreader tweeted ‘Just watching White House Down. Who believes this stuff?’

A) Tom Bradby 

B) Simon McCoy

C) Huw Edwards 

Kay Burley

10 Which Labour grandee was not impressed by Radio 4: ‘I’m not being entertained — I’m being culturally re-educated with all the subtlety of a steam hammer’?

A) Gordon Brown 

B. Jack Straw

John Prescott 

D) David Blunkett

11 Who believes they were put on earth for a high purpose: ‘My goal is to lift up critical dialogues around mental health, build supportive and compassionate communities and foster an environment for honest conversations’?

Prince Harry 

B) Jeff Bezos

C) Elon Musk 

D) Richard Branson

12 Who used an unlikely metaphor to support their boss: ‘The gaffer picks the team’?

A) Amanda Holden

B) Lisa Nandy

C) Pierre Emerick Aubameyang

D) Ollie Robinson

13 Which author confessed to shortcomings in the kitchen: ‘I love entertaining but I hate cooking. I use my smoke alarm as a timer’?

A) Nigella Lawson 

B) JK Rowling

C) Kathy Lette 

Naomi Woolf

JK Rowling at the EE BAFTA British Academy Film Awards in 2017

JK Rowling at the EE BAFTA British Academy Film Awards in 2017 

14 Which actress admitted being a late bloomer in the bedroom: ‘Sex for me, it has really evolved. My 20s, I was always terrified of it, because I was a virgin until I was 22’?

Brooke Shields

Jennifer Aniston

C) Kylie Minogue

D) Scarlett Johansson

15 Which sporting icon lost an important piece of jewellery when his trainers were stolen: ‘They still absolutely stink but the shoes are back, the wedding ring is back and I’m back in the good books’?

Andy Murray 

B) John Terry

C) Lionel Messi 

Harry Kane

16 Which veteran actress has a simple procedure for staying slim: ‘I don’t want to change my clothes every time something feels tight so I go, “Right, no cheese, no butter, no wine” ’?

Joanna Lumley 

French Dawn

C) Jenny Agutter 

D) Claire Foy

17 Who commented on his promotion: ‘I’d like to thank the Prime Minister, my wife, the CCTV guy at the Department of Health…’?

A) Matt Hancock 

B) Sajid Javid

C) Rishi Sunak 

D) Michael Gove

18 Which model-TV personality suggested women should never plead a headache to avoid sex with their husband: ‘Take one for the team because it’s between five to ten minutes of your life’?

Caprice Bourret 

Holly Willoughby

C) Melanie Sykes

D) Danielle Lloyd

Holly Willoughby (above) pictured in a black strapless gown with a matching clutch

Holly Willoughby, above (above), is pictured wearing a black strapless dress with matching clutch. 

19 Which politician got misogyny mixed up: ‘Misogyny is absolutely wrong, whether it’s a man against a woman or a woman against a man’?

A) ZacGoldsmith

B) Robert Buckland

Dominic Raab

D) Sir Charles Walker

20 Which actress believes being older doesn’t stop you getting work: ‘There are plenty of parts if you are willing to make yourself look lousy’?

A) Lady Maureen Lipman

B) Dame Helen Mirren

C) Dame Eileen Atkins

D) Dame Joan Collins

Dame Helen Mirren attends the Telluride Film Festival back in September

Helen Mirren (Dame Helen) attends Telluride Film Festival, September 2004

21 Who invoked Orwell after hearing that Police Scotland was allowing rape suspects to identify as women: ‘War is peace. Freedom is slavery. It is not possible to ignore your strengths. The Penised Individual who raped you is a woman’?

A) JK Rowling 

B) Nadine Dorries

Joanna Lumley 

D) Jenni Murray

22 Which supermodel blames a cosmetic procedure for wrecking her life: ‘It has not only destroyed my livelihood, it has sent me into a cycle of deep depression’?

Naomi Campbell

B) Kate Moss

C) Cindy Crawford

D) Linda Evangelista

23 Who, when asked whether he’d go into politics, replied: ‘No, because I would like to have a nice life.’

A) Piers Morgan

B) George Clooney

C) Benedict Cumberbatch

D) Richard Gere

24 Who was not impressed by the leader of the Labour Party: ‘Starmer is a block of wood, so wooden the birds are trying to nest in him. He is Blair without any of the polish’?

A) George Galloway

B) Nigel Farage

C) Alastair Campbell

D) Jeremy Corbyn

25 Which actress admitted becoming a lazy dresser in lockdown: ‘I don’t care if my breasts reach my belly button. I’m not wearing a bra’?

Gillian Anderson

B) Pamela Anderson

Heather Graham

D) Halle Berry

Halle Berry poses during the 2021 People's Choice Awards held at Barker Hangar on December 7

Halle Berry poses for the 2021 People’s Choice Awards at Barker Hangar, December 7, 2018.

26 Which supermarket enraged Remainers with a food label reading ‘Made with British chicken and non-EU salt and pepper’?


B) Aldi

Morrisons, C. 

D. Lidl

27 Which Rolling Stone defended Brown Sugar after the band decided to remove it from set lists: ‘I’m trying to figure out where the beef is. Didn’t they understand this was about the horrors of slavery’?

A) Mick Jagger 

Keith Richards

C) Charlie Watts 

Ron Wood

28 Who described the progression of an actress’s career thus: ‘You go from playing the daughter to playing the mistress, to wife and mum to granny. Then you play the old bag’?

A) Susan Penhaligon

B) Jenny Seagrove

C) Amanda Holden

D) Vicki Michelle

29 Which businessman showed his patriotic side: ‘As a boy, I knew British was best. It still can be — if we encourage doers rather than virtue signallers’?

A) Peter Jones 

B. Duncan Bannatyne

C) Theo Paphitis 

D. James Dyson

30 Which celebrity admits to having a painful hair transplant: ‘It doesn’t hurt as much as looking into the mirror and seeing your hairline disappearing’?

A) Anton du Beke 

B. Rob Brydon

David Beckham 

D) Simon Cowell

David Beckham (left)  and Victoria Beckham (right) attend GQ Men Of The Year Awards 2019

David Beckham (left)  and Victoria Beckham (right) attend GQ Men Of The Year Awards 2019

31 Who admitted their parenting was not up to scratch: ‘I’m lacking the skills to be a stay-at-home mother. I’m managing because the children are quite resilient’?

A) Katie Price

Kerry Katona

C) Angelina Jolie

D) Ulrika Jonsson

32 Which gardener thinks mowing the lawn is a waste of time: ‘Cutting grass burns lots of fossil fuel, makes a filthy noise and is about the most injurious thing you can do to wildlife’?

A) Alan Titchmarsh 

B) Monty Don

C) Charlie Dimmock 

D) Kim Wilde

33 Which Tory MP disapproved of Boris Johnson’s plan to tackle the NHS backlog and social care with a £12 billion-a-year tax grab: ‘We’re in danger of becoming a health service with a country attached’?

Marcus Fysh

B) Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown

C) Dehenna Davison

Joy Morrissey

34 Who was not impressed by U.S. President Joe Biden’s first year: ‘My wife has Alzheimer’s but she is light years ahead of that fella’?

A. Johnny Rotten 

Russell Brand

Rod Liddle 

D) Nigel Farage

Russell Brand (pictured) following his appearance on ITV's Loose Women

Russell Brand, pictured after his appearance on ITV’s Loose Women

35 Which media figure mistweeted when he landed a high profile job: ‘I’ve a huge amount to earn’?

A) Eamonn Holmes 

B) Amol Rajan

C) Stephen Dixon 

D) Dan Walker

36 Which TV presenter is grateful to still have a job to go to: ‘Every day I keep my show as a white, middle-class male is a bonus’?

A) Richard Madeley

Robert Peston

C) Jeremy Vine

D. Ant McPartlin

37 Who was not impressed by the performance of their national side at the Olympics: ‘If our soccer team, headed by a radical group of Leftist maniacs, wasn’t woke, they would have won the gold medal’?

A) Emmanuel Macron

Donald Trump

C) Angela Merkel

Viktor Orban

38 Which chef finds inspiration everywhere: ‘If I’m walking and the tarmac is warm, I might smell coffee, chocolate and burnt avocado’?

A. Heston Blumenthal

B) Tom Kerridge

Gordon Ramsay

D) Jamie Oliver

39 Who was critical of billionaires Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk for their space tourism: ‘We need some of the world’s greatest brains trying to repair this planet, not trying to find the next place to go and live’?

A) David Attenborough

B) Greta Thunberg

Prince William

D. Alok Sharma

Prince William smiles during a visit to Microsoft HQ to learn how new AI scanning technology can increase detection of illegal wildlife products being trafficked through international airports, in Reading

Prince William is smiling during a visit at Microsoft HQ in Reading to see how the new AI scanning technology can help increase detection of illegal wildlife product trafficking through international airports.

40 Which actress said of the making of her new TV series The Wheel Of Time, which features many more naked men than naked women: ‘We’ve got all the men dieting and all the women going out for lovely dinners’?

Kate Winslet 

B) Rosamund Pike

C) Claire Foy 

D. Lily James

41 Which actress was concerned about her Welsh accent: ‘If you go too far, you end up in India’?

A) Toni Collette

B) Michelle Keegan

C) Vicky McClure

D) Suranne Jones

42 Which TV personality has been boasting about the amount of cleavage she shows: ‘I’ve been plunging my little heart out. ’?

Georgia Toffolo

B) Davina McCall

C) Rochelle Humes

D) AJ Odudu

43 Who revealed themselves to be very house proud: ‘Those who iron their tea towels are not wasting their lives, they are providing themselves with free therapy’?

A. Phil Spencer 

B) Kirstie Allsopp

C) Liz Truss 

D) Carrie Johnson

44 Which female sports presenter was hurt by criticism of her interviewing: ‘Imagine getting inundated with abuse for doing your job. In my car crying’?

Alex Scott 

B) Sonja McLaughlan

C) Isa Guha 

D) Karen Carney

45 Who described wokeness thus: ‘It’s a burgeoning religion with no repentance and no forgiveness’?

Laurence Fox 

B) Richard Tice

C. Paul Embery 

D) Neil Oliver

46 Which Brexiteer said of the fishing dispute with France: ‘They’re now British fish and they’re better and happier fish for it’?

A) Steve Baker

B) Mark Francois

C. Jacob Rees-Mogg

D) Andrea Leadsom

Conservative MP for North East Somerset Jacob Rees-Mogg leaving Downing Street

Jacob Rees Mogg is a Conservative MP for North East Somerset. He has left Downing Street 

47 Who has travelled to avoid coronavirus: ‘We’re very Covid conscious. We’ve flown around the world to try to miss it’?

A. Petra Ecclestone 

B) Rita Ora

C) Maya Jama 

D) Kylie Jenner

48 Which personality reveals what she has done with her breast milk: ‘I still have it frozen. Can’t bear to throw it out’?

A. Stacey Solomon

B) Myleene Klass

C) Christine Lampard

D) Helen Flanagan

49 Politician Scott Benton laid into which new mother who brought her baby to work: ‘Parents who get paid a fraction of what you do pay for childcare. What makes you so special?’

A) Stella Creasy

B) Ashley James

Christine Quinn

D) Charlotte Church

50 Which actress announced her preference for a younger man in her bed: ‘It’s a thing about skin’?

A) Sharon Stone

B) Jane Fonda

Jennifer Lopez

D) Kate Beckinsale


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