What they said over Lunch with the FT


“I have a very few possessions ... a few papers, a couple of books, and a few shirts, jackets, sweaters. It fits in a little thing, in a paper bag, so it’s very easy,” nomadic billionaire Nicolas Berggruen, Lunch with the FT, January 15

“You multiply my age three times and it takes you back to 1776 ... Isn’t it amazing? It’s a third of American history,” former US defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Lunch with the FT, February 12

“My mother is 92 and rather physically frail, but terrific; she’s thrashed me at our last five games of Scrabble, which has slightly tested my sportsmanship,” novelist Alan Hollinghurst, Lunch with the FT, June 25

“I like to make people feel like family. In the taxi here I asked the driver what he liked doing, he said: ‘Singing’, I said: ‘Sing!’ ” gallerist Helly Nahmad, Lunch with the FT, November 12


“Aaron Sorkin is by far the weirdest person I have ever met. My interactions with him were agonisingly weird,” tech pioneer and ‘villain’ of ‘The Social Network’, Sean Parker, Lunch with the FT, March 5

“I haven’t become less controlling. I’m much happier now because I’m not pretending to work in a group,” musician and former Pink Floyd leader Roger Waters, Lunch with the FT, April 2

“Italy is stronger than bunga-bunga,” ‘king of shoes’ Diego Della Valle, Lunch with the FT, August 6

“If you are an atheist living in Dallas I am like a drop of water,” satirist and writer of musical Matilda, Tim Minchin, Lunch with the FT, November 5


“I can’t say how it will happen or how it will happen but there will be a spark and it will take off,” union leader Bob Crow, months before the UK’s summer riots, Lunch with the FT, March 26

“They [Republican candidates for the US presidency] think the country is as crazy as they are. It’s not. Granted, I think a good 50m people are probably certifiably nuts but this is a big country. There’s over 200m voters. We can weather 50m idiots,” filmmaker Michael Moore, Lunch with the FT, September 17

“I used to think he is callous and all that. But you know what? He’s human after all. He’s very humane. There is a split personality between Mugabe the hero and Mugabe the villain,” prime minister of Zimbabwe, Morgan Tsvangirai, Lunch with the FT, March 12

“If you ask me if six years of socialism would be good for America, the answer is yes,” hairdressing legend Vidal Sassoon, Lunch with the FT, April 23

“I don’t think anybody out there in the media, UN, human rights organisations, has any moral right whatsoever to level any accusation against me or against Rwanda. Because when it came to the problems facing Rwanda they were all useless,” Rwandan president Paul Kagame hits out in an interview that provoked a Twitter row, Lunch with the FT, May 14

“We will never dismantle the class system in this country if poor children are herded into media studies classes,” free schools campaigner Toby Young, Lunch with the FT, August 27


“It just amazes me how [weather forecasters] can tell where low pressures are coming from, high pressures are coming from. ‘On Wednesday’ they said, ‘There will be heavy rain’ ... and it was spot on.” Bob Crow reveals an unexpected interest, Lunch with the FT, March 26

Most tweets per second in 2011

1. 28 Aug, MTV Video Music Awards: 8,868

2. 20 Sept, Troy Davis executed: 7,671

3. 17 July, end of Women’s FIFA World Cup: 7,196

4. 17 July, Brazil eliminated from the Copa America: 7,166

5. 25 Aug, Steve Jobs resigns: 7,064

Source: Twitter

Most popular hashtags in 2011

1. #egypt

2. #tigerblood

3. #threewordstoliveby

4. #idontunderstandwhy

5. #japan

Source: Twitter

Top selling artists in 2011

1. Adele

2. Rihanna

3. Katy Perry

4. Lady Gaga

5. Lil Wayne

Source: Billboard

Most profitable tour shows in 2011

1. U2: $293.3m

2. Bon Jovi: $193m

3. Take That: $185m

4. Roger Waters: $150m

5. Taylor Swift: $97.3m

Source: Billboard

The year’s most read FT Weekend stories on ft.com

1. Lady Gaga takes tea with Mr Fry

2. The FT’s Christmas gift guide

3. Edwin Heathcote on the world’s most liveable cities

4. Simon Kuper on football’s data revolution

5. Inside McKinsey, by Andrew Hill

A year in British opinion polls

The stats of the nation

● One in three Britons would like to move abroad (Gallup, February)

● Seventy-five per cent of women have trouble getting to sleep; 25 per cent of men do (sleep organisation Sleepio, October)

● Twenty-five per cent of consumers round the world would stop buying a product if the celebrity endorser was found to be behaving inappropriately. Sixty-six per cent of Chinese are worried about this; 15 per cent of British (Ipsos Mori, August)

● Forty-nine per cent of parents would like to see the return of corporal punishment in schools; 19 per cent of secondary school pupils do (Times Educational Supplement, September)

● One in three children aged 11-16 does not own a book (National Literacy Trust, November)

● Thirty-three per cent of voters think Lady Thatcher was the most capable prime minister of the past 30 years (Ipsos Mori, June)

● Eighty-one per cent of motorists prefer maps to satnavs (Kia Motors survey)

● Forty-one per cent of British men thought a woman referee would be as good as a man at refereeing a World Cup final

● Forty-nine per cent of women thought a woman referee would be as good as a man at refereeing a World Cup final (Ipsos Mori, March)

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