With Charlie Brown, it was about loneliness and isolation. I always thought that the thing about Charlie Brown and those characters was the absence of the parents. Half the strip was about who wasn't there. The parents were never in the picture.
I think there's a lot of, unfortunately, unfunny ventriloquists out there, so they've got a bad rap. It came after Edgar Bergen because everybody had a little cheeky boy dummy like Charlie McCarthy, and everybody decided to become a ventriloquist because Bergen had popularized it. He brought it back from the doldrums of vaudeville.
Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi looks in the mirror and sees a playboy of the old school. And men such as Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Charlie Sheen no doubt look at Berlusconi and think, 'Role model!' Women, of course, know otherwise. They see him as an aging, pathetic buffoon.
From a public perspective, the Grand National is the biggest race of all, and not to have won it yet is definitely a failure. But there's been a lot of jockeys every bit as good and better than me that haven't won it - John Francome, Peter Scudamore, Jonjo O'Neill, Charlie Swan, to name a few.