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"I've done more than 10,000 interviews, and I've learnt that you've got to do your homework. I bury myself in research beforehand. And you have to be genuinely interested in people; there's a cornucopia of great, ordinary people out there with wonderful, colourful stories."

RAY, MARTIN -

"It's appalling. People aren't stupid: if you serve them quality, they'll take it over crap, but we give them crap. We think people are stupid, too busy or don't care but I think they do care. Just don't bore them."

RAY, MARTIN - On the dumbing down of journalism

"There's no substitute for passion. And if you don't have it, you may as well curl up under a tree and say goodnight. Because life's too much fun to be ordinary. I'm very ordinary at lots of things, but I bloody well try not to be. If you're not good enough to win a marathon at the Olympics, then win the local event. It's about having a go."

RAY, MARTIN -

"I don't love it. I write better than I used to write, I think better than I used to think, and I've got enough experience to balance things up. But I don't like the physical side of getting older and I don't like forgetting things. If I had a choice, I'd take Peter Pan pills and stay young forever."

RAY, MARTIN - on getting older

"Women are the more important members of relationships. Women are the survivors, the nurturers and the bosses, despite men pretending it's a male dominated society."

RAY, MARTIN -