Rachel Johnson

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

The kibbutz goes capitalist

Galilee: The last time I was here, the kibbutz was filled with sunburnt, muscular, sweaty Israelis covered in dark curly hair, driving Jeeps, so handsome I’d spill my Jaffa orange juice down my white cheesecloth culottes when they spoke to me. Then, Kfar Hanassi, in northern Galilee, a grenade’s throw from the Golan Heights, had

Sex and the city

We don’t do burlesque here. We do bawdy, Benny Hill, end-of-pier prurience instead. Montmartre may have the Moulin Rouge, but the closest we get to saucy is John Major not ‘on’ Edwina Currie — titter — but on our tradition of music hall. As a nation we can-cannot do the can-can. So I found it

Diary – 4 February 2012

Try as I might, I can’t pretend even to myself that the Cambridge Union debate against Katie Price was anything but a total victory for tits and telly, and an utter defeat for me. What was I thinking? But still. Last week I found myself at the Cambridge Union in a tight red dress, proposing

Away win

Is there such a thing as ‘Boarding School Syndrome’? No, says Rachel Johnson  A few months back, I gave a speech in Leeds to the Boarding Schools Association, in the course of which I spoke of the time I was sent to an all-boys prep school in another country days after my tenth birthday. ‘I

How to spend it

Leisure and pleasure have always been Scylla and Charybdis for politicians. Vacation on a yacht called Monkey Business, borrow a Caribbean pile from a billionaire, spend time with Cliff Richard, and you’re tabloid toast. Not this lot. The Cameron and Clegg sets have steered through the whirlpools without hitting the rocks. David Cameron, the 19th

INSERT A HEADLINE

This morning’s Guardian hailed the fresh brilliance of the new Unilever Turbine Hall project at Tate Modern by Doris Salcedo. It shows “a laudable unwillingness to compromise, wanting to make a work about absolute indifference, and to address desolation and destitution…Shibboleth begins with a hairline crack in the concrete floor by the entrance. As insignificant

Cracking Stuff

This morning’s Guardian hailed the fresh brilliance of the new Unilever Turbine Hall project at Tate Modern by Doris Salcedo.  It shows: “a laudable unwillingness to compromise, wanting to make a work about absolute indifference, and to address desolation and destitution…Shibboleth begins with a hairline crack in the concrete floor by the entrance. As insignificant

Come on, girls — have a crack!

When I was asked recently whether I wanted to go shooting, I felt torn. It’s clearly very fashionable at the moment, as Charles Moore’s story about Cherie Blair and Lord Mandelson at the Rothschilds shows. But shooting is unutterably bloody, if you’re a woman. It starts with a long drive to a big house, encumbered

Sorry, Liz, you’re wrong about sex in the country

Like all red-blooded members of the human race, there is nothing I like more than looking at pictures of Liz Hurley. So this month’s Tatler was a particular treat. There she was in wellies, accessorised by tulle and mousseline gowns in dusty baby-pink. The pictures ticked all the right boxes. Debo, Duchess of Devonshire, in

A bag of Monster Munch declares the spirit of the age

‘Nice car,’ said my host approvingly, as he saw me off after Sunday lunch last weekend, as the blossom hung heavy on the bough and all the birds of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire chorused in the sunshine. I opened the door with pride. At this point I should boast that the vehicle in question is not

Diary – 23 August 2008

The fifth week of continuous downpour. Mouldiest summer ever. The children stay abed until lunchtime. I yell upstairs, Who wants to go for a massive walk? Who wants to come to Tesco in Minehead? Who wants to go to the Exmoor pony centre? There are never any takers. Exmoor pony centre was the scene of

Even middle-class children are suffering from neglect

And when did you last see your children? Before you both left at the crack for the office? When they were already in bed? Or do you only see them — let’s be brutally realistic here, given our divorce rate — at alternate weekends? So we don’t need to ask any more who tucks them

Sunlight on stucco

This affordably handsome book confirms in my own partisan mind what a rich subject the area of Notting Hill in London is, and I can’t help approving of it for that reason alone. Like it or not, Notting Hill exerts a peculiar fascination over many who don’t live there as well as all who do,

If a rat can cook, can anyone be a writer now?

So this is how my average weekday morning goes. Give briefing to a telly researcher on a subject I have written sum total of one article about, complete long Q&A for self-publicity purposes for a magazine (which will appear under someone else’s byline), supply a written quote to help a reporter on a daily broadsheet

Security Risk

Blackpool. Tuesday morning. Windy. Been here for 24 hours now, and why are there quite so many policemen? It’s not as if the Tories are in power. They are probably further away from it than ever. The big question is my mind is not whether Gordon will call an election or whether George is cute,

George puts me in my place

By the way I know that last post was very self-centred of me so I want to reassure Coffee House that lots of people up here are putting me in my place including fellow blogger G. Osborne. At the hammam-temperature Telegraph party last night (bacon butties, warm white wine) I kissed the shadow chancellor and

I fell for Piers

I think I have fallen victim to a cunning and captious new publishing ploy to get hopelessly vain creatures like me, who love seeing their names in print, to buy books. Let me explain. Back in mid-April sometime I was reading a review by Lynn Barber of Piers Morgan’s new autobiography – the second in

Diary – 28 April 2007

In thick of whistlestop tour of the US to promote Notting Hell, so the dateline above this diary should read ‘New York, Dallas, Washington D.C, Chicago, Denver, L.A, San Francisco’ which would be a first — for me, anyway. In the taxi to the airport, I compare schedules with the novelist and leggy beauty Santa

A place to plot

Some people dream of Palladian mansions in Wiltshire, of third homes in undiscovered parts of Puglia, of ozone pools in the basement. Others dream less majestically of mansards and conservatories and allotments. I, however, have a more modest fantasy. I work from home: a semi-detached dwelling I share with three children, an au pair, a

Diary – 18 August 2006

Mexico City/Punta Ixtapa This summer my family have done a life-swap. Every day we eat a large breakfast prepared by the cook, Isabel, in our residence in Mexico City, while Gaby, the maid, tidies our bedrooms. A brace of gardeners in cowboy hats, José and José-Luis, arrive shortly thereafter to fish out bougainvillea blooms from