A recent tribute to the work of entertainer Bruce Forsyth reveals that he has some 31 catchphrases that he has used throughout his career: "I'm in charge" - " Good game, good game" - "Tits or face?" - "Nice to see you, to see you... NICE!"
You'd be hard-pushed to find a man in the business with such longetivity who has given so much to our culture as poor, dead Brucie, with many of his catchphrases having slipped into everyday usage. Didn't he do well?
You may have noticed that over the years, I've picked up a few catchphrases of my own. Some original, some stolen, some I'd rather not have, thank you very much and none of them a patch on The Fast Show:
* "I am not mad" (As stolen by Phoney Pharoah Mohammed Al-Fayed at the High Court last week)
* "Done a poo"
* "Sick inna hedge"
* "Yes. Yes I am"
* "Ann Noreen Widdecombe"
* "Not as funny as I used to be"
You may be surprised to learn that I do not use these phrases in everyday life. This is because I am making a conscious effort not to be a mental in public, and my family respects me all the more for it, and continued reference to a lightly-oiled Sarah Beeny may lead to a stalky restraining order.
Instead, I habitually use the following, particularly when dealing with anybody employed in a public service industry who has made any sort of effort on my behalf:
* "Take the rest of the day off"
Always gets a positive response and it is particularly useful at 5.29pm on a Friday evening.
* "And now: A word from our sponsors"
What, then, are your catchphrases?
I am not mad.