Silvio Berlusconi - Former Italian President for almost unbearable public gaffes such as:
on fidelity in 2006
“I am pretty often faithful”
and, on Obama’s election as US President in 2008,
“Handsome, young and also suntanned”
Jamie Redknapp, (sports commentator) for misuse of the word ‘literally’ and his catalogue of gaffes. Although it was a close one between him and Alex Ferguson for the ‘cow statement’.
"These balls now - they literally explode off your feet."
"Alonso and Sissoko have been picked to literally sit in front of the back four."
"He's literally left Ben Haim for dead there."
"Peter Schmeichel will be like a father figure to Kasper Schmeichel."
"Xabi Alonso was sensational spreading the ball to Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard that day."
"Steven Gerrard makes runs into the box better than anyone. So does Frank Lampard."
"If you're going to get in behind Rio Ferdinand you've got to show him what you've got and then go in hard."
"I'll be honest, I know nothing about him." (referring to AC Milan's Alexandre Pato)
"Roy Hodgson has never worked with top, top players."
Lord Peter Mandelson, for his comment on the investigations into MP's expenses.
“Perhaps we need not more people looking round more corners but the same people looking round more corners more thoroughly to avoid the small things detracting from the big things the Prime Minister is getting right.”
Bush leaves White House with Lifetime Achievement Award from Plain English Campaign
This award, which we first gave in 1993, is for a baffling comment by a public figure. Departing US President George W Bush does not leave the White House empty handed. We have awarded him a Foot in Mouth Lifetime Achievement Award for his services to gobbledygook.
“I know what I believe. I will continue to articulate what I believe and what I believe – I believe what I believe is right.” (Rome, July 22, 2001)
The above has a similar ring to one of the previous Foot in Mouth winners, a fellow Statesman, Donald Rumsfeld, with his ‘known knowns’. But it could be said that President Bush made Foot in Mouth his very own, covering a wide range of subjects including clear communications.
“I hope you leave here and walk out and say, ‘what did he say?’” (Beaverton, Oregon August 13 2004)
Plain English Campaign believes that President Bush captures the spirit of every true gobbledygooker when he says, surprisingly plainly,
“Let me put it to you bluntly. In a changing world, we want more people to have control over your own life” (Annandale, Va August 9 2004)
Former England football manager, Steve McClaren, for the following comment he made to Radio 5 Live.
“He (Wayne Rooney) is inexperienced, but he's experienced in terms of what he's been through.”
Naomi Campbell for "I love England, especially the food. There's nothing I like more than a lovely bowl of pasta."
Rt Hon Rhodri Morgan AM, the First Minister for Wales, made this comment in a debate on policing: "The only thing which isn't up for grabs is no change and I think it's fair to say, it's all to play for, except for no change."
Rhodri was, in fact, good-humoured enough to reply to his award.
"I won this award before for my 'does a one-legged duck swim in a circle?' quote. In fact, it made my name. Jeremy Paxman is still trying to work out whether there is a deeper meaning behind my proverb. This latest award is not quite in that class, so it must have been a thin year.
Nevertheless, I am delighted that the Plain English Campaign tunes in to the Welsh assembly every Tuesday for my question time waiting for another one-legged duck."
Boris Johnson MP for his remark on the BBC news quiz programme, 'Have I Got News For You'. "I could not fail to disagree with you less."
Former United States Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld for comments in a press briefing. "Reports that say that something hasn't happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns — the ones we don't know we don't know."
Actor Richard Gere who said: "I know who I am. No one else knows who I am. If I was a giraffe and somebody said I was a snake, I'd think 'No, actually I am a giraffe.''
Artist Tracey Emin, who explained "When it comes to words I have a uniqueness that I find almost impossible in terms of art - and it's my words that actually make my art quite unique."
Hollywood star Alicia Silverstone for her comments quoted in the Sunday Telegraph.
"I think that [the film] 'Clueless' was very deep. I think it was deep in the way that it was very light. I think lightness has to come from a very deep place if it's true lightness."
Former England manager Glenn Hoddle. When asked by Trevor McDonald to explain his controversial comments on people with disabilities, he said:
"I do not believe that. At this moment in time, if that changes in years to come I don't know, but what happens here today and changes as we go along that is part of life's learning and part of your inner beliefs. But at this moment in time I did not say them things and at the end of the day I want to put that on record because it has hurt people."
Cardiff MP Rhodri Morgan. In an interview with BBC Newsnight's Jeremy Paxman he was asked if he would like to be the labour leader of the new Welsh Assembly. Rhodri replied "Does a one-legged duck swim in circles?" After a long puzzled pause Jeremy asked Rhodri if that was Welsh for yes!
Nick Underwood of Teletubbies Marketing explained that "in life, there are all colours and the Teletubbies are a reflection of that. There are no nationalities in the Teletubbies - they are techno-babies, but they are supposed to reflect life in that sense."
Dr Gordon Brown MP for his 'New Economics' speech. He covered "ideas which stress the growing importance of international co-operation and new theories of economic sovereignty across a wide range of areas, macro-economics, trade, the environment, the growth of post neo-classical endogenous growth theory and the symbiotic relationships between government and investment in people and infrastructures - a new understanding of how labour markets really work and constructive debate over the meaning and implications of competitiveness at the level of individuals, the firm or the nation and the role of government in fashioning modern industrial policies which focus on nurturing competitiveness."
Former England cricket boss, Ted Dexter desperately tried to explain away another England defeat at the hands of the Australians by saying "Maybe we are in the wrong sign. Maybe Venus is in the wrong juxtaposition with something else. I don't know."
(Although we did not yet have a Foot in Mouth award at the 1991 ceremony, we made a special mention of a quote by United States Vice President Dan Quayle.)
"We offer the party as a big tent. How we do that (recognise the big tent philosophy) with the platform, the preamble to the platform or whatnot, that remains to be seen. But that message will have to be articulated with great clarity."