"I expect to win it. Sit back, put your feet up in front of the TV, relax and enjoy it. Let me do the worrying – that’s what I get paid for."
— England manager Graham Taylor before the 1992 European championships. England didn’t win a game.
"I have always found strangers sexy."
— Hugh Grant, six months before he was arrested with stranger Divine Brown.
"I would not wish to be Prime Minister, dear."
— Margaret Thatcher in 1973.
"That rainbow song’s no good. Take it out."
— MGM memo after first showing of The Wizard Of Oz.
"You’d better learn secretarial skills or else get married."
— Modelling agency, rejecting Marilyn Monroe in 1944.
"Radio has no future." "X-rays are clearly a hoax". "The aeroplane is scientifically impossible."
— Royal Society president Lord Kelvin, 1897-9.
"You ought to go back to driving a truck."
— Concert manager, firing Elvis Presley in 1954.
"Forget it. No Civil War picture ever made a nickel."
— MGM executive, advising against investing in Gone With The Wind.
"Can’t act. Can’t sing. Slightly bald. Can dance a little."
— A film company’s verdict on Fred Astaire’s 1928 screen test.
"Very interesting, Whittle, my boy, but it will never work."
— Professor of Aeronautical Engineering at Cambridge, shown Frank Whittle’s plan for the jet engine.
"There will be one million cases of AIDS in Britain by 1991."
— World Health Organisation in a 1989 report. It over-estimated by 992,301 cases.
"The Beatles? They’re on the wane."
— The Duke of Edinburgh in Canada, 1965. They went on to produce a string of No 1s.
"The atom bomb will never go off – and I speak as an expert in explosives."
— U.S. Admiral William Leahy in 1945.
"All saved from Titanic after collision."
— New York Evening Sun, April 15 1912.
"Brain work will cause women to go bald."
— Berlin professor, 1914.
"Television won’t matter in your lifetime or mine."
— Radio Times editor Rex Lambert, 1936.
"Everything that can be invented has been invented."
— Director of the US Patent Office, 1899.
"And for the tourist who really wants to get away from it all, safaris in Vietnam."
— Newsweek magazine, predicting popular holidays for the late 1960s.