Rachel Johnson

Rachel Johnson presents her LBC show on Sundays at 7 p.m.

All these lockdown puppies come at a price

‘Book H in for a colonoscopy at a private clinic,’ begins one entry in Sasha Swire’s enjoyable diaries about her husband (which she should have called What Hugo Did During Term-Time.) She accompanies him to his appointment — whether for juicy material or moral support, we are not told — and relates how the bored

Who is the real Joe Biden?

34 min listen

Joe Biden is leading Donald Trump in the polls, so what is at the root of his appeal? (00:50) The government is anxious about a second wave – can it avoid repeating its mistakes? (11:15) And Rachel Johnson on her generation of high flyers and early retirees (23:30). With editor of the Spectator’s US edition,

Diary – 15 August 2019

I lay low during the ‘season’ as I can’t think what to say to people any more. I went to only two summer parties, a personal worst for me: Lady Annabel Goldsmith’s annual gold-plater in Richmond, and Jenni Russell and Stephen Lambert’s Notting Hill do, where I found myself introducing David Cameron to Seumas Milne.

Kiss off | 11 April 2019

It’s out of control! If I play doubles first thing, have a lunch, then go to perhaps two parties in an evening, I can be embracing more than a hundred people in the course of my day. It’s so unhygienic — especially in the flu season, when someone gives you a sticky peck before telling

With Rachel Johnson

28 min listen

Journalist and author Rachel Johnson joins Lara and Livvy on this episode to talk about what it was like to share with a student house with Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall, then budding student chef, about cooking rice found in a Greek bin for her children, and why ‘American food’ is an oxymoron.

Publish and be damned

The other day Will Self unburdened himself on the state of fiction with crushing hauteur. ‘What’s now regarded as serious literature would, ten or 20 years ago, have been regarded as young adult fiction… in terms of literary history, it does seem a bit of a regression. If you consider that Nabokov’s Lolita was on

Diary – 13 September 2018

People are still asking ‘So, how was your summer’ and mine was nice as far as it went: I didn’t ‘go away’ but spent long weeks rambling on Exmoor in the drizzle, baking scones and making and remaking beds for the various guests who came and went, supplying them with endless free hot meals. Then

All over the shop

A few years ago, some friends came to stay with us on Exmoor. After they unfurled from their Volvo, they presented us with some unctuous Parma ham and a few bottles of Barolo, all of which I received eagerly. ‘Thank you so much!’ I cried, adding, ‘Such a shame we don’t have any Charentais melons,

Diary – 22 March 2018

I went to a dinner for Toby Young, who has had some troubles of late, at this magazine’s gracious HQ, hosted by the editor. I was slightly dreading being beasted by a reptilian gathering of hard Brexiters, but it was in the diary. So I tipped up last Friday in a somewhat plunging jumpsuit and

Why I feel sorry for Damian Green

I have to admit, I feel a bit sorry for Damian Green about the porn found on his work computer. What if someone else had downloaded it? What if it had been planted as kompromat via some Russian malware? Especially as what’s on telly can be far more alarming. I was sofa-side on Monday night, crying through

Diary – 16 November 2017

Long letter from the High Mistress of St Paul’s Girls’ School, addressing me as ‘Dear Old Paulina’ (I thought we were never ‘Old Paulinas’, merely ‘Paulinas’ till the bitter end, but I will let the solecism pass). It informs me that fellow former pupils have been in touch to report sexual abuse when I was

Diary – 25 May 2017

The chances of my 20-year-old student son being at an Ariana Grande concert on a Monday night were, my head told me, zero. But as I watched ambulances converge on the arena, my maternal heart was in my mouth. Oliver had just been to the premier league darts at the venue (like me, there is

Don’t be jealous of my brother’s whopping tax return

With hindsight maybe it was silly for me to bleat, ‘As everyone knows, the Johnsons are neither posh nor rich’ on Newsnight just before my older brother published his tax returns showing the impressive sums he’s made in journalism and publishing. I can only imagine how the antlers of rival 12-point stags such as Niall

Diary – 14 April 2016

With hindsight maybe it was silly for me to bleat, ‘As everyone knows, the Johnsons are neither posh nor rich’ on Newsnight just before my older brother published his tax returns showing the impressive sums he’s made in journalism and publishing. I can only imagine how the antlers of rival 12-point stags such as Niall

Diary – 25 June 2015

My husband says I only write books in order to have a launch party. Not so. I also write books in order to give the author speech at the party. To this end, I hired a wild warehouse under the Westway flyover. Faced with a stream of emails from PAs asking things like whether vegan