Average rock bun
Oncologist's description of the size of the tumour discovered in Bennett's colon in 1997. Forced to make the choice between conventional and homeopathic treatments, Bennett wrote: "It's like the claims of two brands of soap powder, only you're the fucking shirt."
Celebrated tea-room with a branch in Ilkley, Yorkshire, where this newspaper's theatre editor once spotted the writer in his natural environment, enjoying a pot of tea and reading the London Review of Books.
The surprise discovery of which, at the back of his mother's kitchen cabinet, struck the author as revealingly poignant: "If Mam had ever decided to hold a cocktail party, she would probably have tried to buy a bottle of cocktails."
Day Out, A
Bennett's first TV play filmed in 1972 and directed by Stephen Frears. Also marked the screen debut of future Hi-de-Hi! star Paul Shane who recalled:"I played a cyclist and all I had to say was 'My bum's numb.'''
Darkly prophetic 1980 comedy in which the occupants of the last remaining back-to-back in Leeds become curators of their own home in a historical theme-park. Not as upbeat as the title suggests: "In retrospect", Bennett considered, "perhaps I ought to have called it Endure."
Personal assessment of Posner, the least well-favoured of the Oxbridge hopefuls in 2004's The History Boys: "I'm a Jew, I'm small, I'm homosexual and I live in Sheffield. I'm fucked."
Movement director of Bennett's adaptation of the Wind in the Willows at the National Theatre, whose improvisational methods drew resistance from Michael Bryant, cast in the role of Badger. The issue was resolved when the actor declared "I have come to the conclusion that badgers move very much like Michael Bryant".
Fellow Yorkshire celebrity, Oxford alumnus and close friend of the playwright. Not approved of by Bennett's mother, who dismissed the white Jaguar in which Harty's parents visited their son at university as "common".
Scarcely credible admission made in an interview to be broadcast on BBC Four marking the writer's 80th birthday."I'm very ill-read," he tells director Nicholas Hytner. "I know that sounds overmodest but it's quite true."
Bennett's appearance marked the final chapter of the BBC's long-running children's programme in 1996, when he read from AA Milne's The House at Pooh Corner.
Refused by Bennett in the New Year's honours list of 1996 on the grounds that "it would be like wearing a suit every day for the rest of one's life".
Bennett's favourite of the National Theatre auditoria. Of the Olivier he noted: "Michael Gambon got so accustomed to playing the vast space that even in private conversation he would still slowly move through the necessary arc."
The devotion of Bennett's father to his severely depressed wife inspired Queen Charlotte's mistrust of doctors in The Madness of George III. "None of them knows him. He is not himself. So how can they restore him to his proper self, not knowing what that self is?"
Typical row of familial terraces (Norman Street, Norman Avenue, Norman Rise etc) in Kirkstall, Leeds, where the present writer used to live. Periodic encounters with Bennett customarily begin with: "Hello - have you made it out of the Normans yet?"
On no account to be confused with an inside bucket. For clarification, see the following exchange from Bennett's 1979 television play Afternoon Off:
Mrs Beevers: I bet the house is upside down.
Mr Beevers: Nay, it never is. I did the kitchen floor this morning.
Mrs Beevers: Which bucket did you use?
Mr Beevers: The red one.
Mrs Beevers: That's the outside bucket! I shall have to do it all again. Men, they make work.
Technical term for the omissions, digressions and afterthoughts crammed into a script and later excised by the director as unnecessary. "Having recently come across this word, I can't think how long I managed without it. It describes half my life."
Queen Elizabeth II
Memorably portrayed by Prunella Scales in Bennett's 1988 drama Single Spies. The occasional tables used in the production were mounted on castors and had the unfortunate habit of rolling back into the wings, prompting Bennett to note that "instead of idly fingering an object and discoursing on its origins Prunella instead had to dive off stage, locate the object and fetch it on, so that she looked less like the monarch than one of those beady ladies queuing up with their treasures on the Antiques Roadshow."
Occupational hazard of celebrity, as detailed in Bennett's diary entry for 21 May 2012:
A plumpish young man gets off the train at Leeds just behind me.
"Aren't you famous?"
"Well, I can't be, can I, if you don't know my name."
"It's Alan something?"
"So which Alan are you?"
"I'm another Alan."
"Are you just a lookalike?"
"Well, you could say so."
Pejorative term employed by Bennett's father to indicate any event likely to cause unnecessary ostentation. "When I got my degree at Oxford Dad wrote: 'We haven't let on to your aunties that you'll be getting your cap and gown. You won't be wanting a lot of splother.'"
Testudinian pet, urinated upon in the 1986 comedy Kafka's Dick, and thus transformed into a reincarnation of the Czech writer who proves to be acutely anxious about the size of his penis. A useful corrective to the perception of Bennett as a cosy, predictable writer.
Uncommon Reader, the
Outrageously funny first-person narrative about the Queen's reading habits. "Books are not about passing time. They're about other lives, other worlds. Far from wanting time to pass, one just wishes one had more of it. If one wanted to pass the time one could go to New Zealand."
Noisome vehicle which appeared in Bennett's driveway in 1974, inhabited by the infamous Miss Shepherd – part-nemesis, part-muse and the capital's only rough sleeper to be impersonated by Dame Maggie Smith at the Queen's theatre .
West Yorkshire Playhouse
Repertory theatre in Leeds, currently presenting a Bennett season. "I once had to give a talk there and was accosted on my way in by two sabre-toothed pensioners. 'It had better be good,' warned one of them. 'We're big fans of yours.'"
Cost of archiving Bennett's earliest television sketches, which were wiped on the orders of the then-controller of BBC 2, Sir David Attenborough: "I mustn't dodge it," Attenborough revealed. "I can remember perfectly well someone coming to me and saying 'look, we have to build another set of vaults and it's going to cost x-million pounds.''
Having climbed up to the mason's loft, Bennett discovered evidence of hinges in an alcove containing the privy, thus proving that defecating stonecutters had the dignity of a door. "In a previous life I was a medieval historian, but the discovery of these door hooks is more of a contribution than I ever made through my study of the archives."
Zodiac, sign of
Born 80 years ago on 9 May, Bennett is a Taurus. Dominant characteristics include sensitivity, imagination, self-effacement and uncommon devotion to Thora Hird.
• Mark Lawson on Alan Bennett at 80: everything but a national treasure
• 80 years on: Alan Bennett's career in pictures