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Toby Young quotes

America thinks of itself as a meritocracy, so people have more respect for success and more contempt for failure.

I expect that in 40 years' time I'll be writing political tomes and working for an organisation like Oxfam.

I miss being fawned over by restaurateurs and chefs.

I tried being a mechanic and I tried catering, but I realized I had even less aptitude for semi-skilled labour than for academic work.

I wouldn't describe myself as a master of anything.

If anything bad happens, the media will leap on it. We're under a huge obligation to be successful.

People in London think of London as the center of the world, whereas New Yorkers think the world ends three miles outside of Manhattan.

The moment I'm perceived to be even a tiny bit successful, my career will go down the pan.

There's no reason why you can't deliver a grammar-school curriculum to an all-ability intake.

'Top Chef' is a very smooth-running machine. All the people working there are incredibly professional and absolutely at the top of their game.

I really like the Observer. I think I'd love to have a column with a broad reach that would enable me to do some proper reporting, but keep it on sort of a humorous level. I've always had a very happy experience writing for them.

I swear, I didn't really go in thinking, 'I'll be the Simon Cowell' of 'Top Chef.' I was just used to being a judge on British food shows where people are much more outspoken and rather rude. That's the culture over here.

I think I've been wishing for celebrity for so long that I've got used to being someone who's petitioning the establishment for acceptance... my whole schtick, my whole identity, is so wrapped up in being a petitioner that I don't really know how to react now that petition has been granted.

I was once hired to write a column for 'The Guardian' and then got fired before I'd submitted my first one. That was unusual. Most newspapers wait until I've written at least one piece for them before firing me.

I've become a professional failure - in order to pay the mortgage I have to remain unemployed. Luckily, a disaster always seems to befall me at exactly the right moment.

I've never been to a shrink. But my parents were very psychologically literate - my father had undergone Freudian analysis - and we often talked about other people in psychological terms, so I picked up a lot of that.

In Britain, by contrast, we still think that class plays a part in determining a person's life chances, so we're less inclined to celebrate success and less inclined to condemn failure. The upshot is that it's much easier to be a failure in Britain than it is in America.

It's very different doing a food show in America and doing one in Britain. I did a 20-part series for the BBC series called 'Eating With the Enemy.' The budget for all 20 episodes was probably the budget for a single episode of 'Top Chef.' It's the difference between making a home movie in your backyard and going to Hollywood.

My life's ambition is to play a James Bond villain. I have the cat and the eye-patch, so I'm just waiting for the call. For some reason, though, the phone hasn't rung.

Oddly, I do have a problem with authority. I find it very difficult to knuckle down and follow rules. Which are the classic symptoms of someone who has a troubled relationship with their father. And yet, I never had a problem with my father.