Rachel Johnson Biography
Rachel Johnson born Rachel Sabiha Johnson on 3 September 1965, is a British editor, journalist, television presenter, and author based in London. Johnson has appeared frequently on panels, including Question Time and Sky News’s the PledgeIn January 2018, Johnson participated in the twenty-first series of Celebrity Big Brother.
Rachel Johnson Age
He was born on 3rd September 1965.
Rachel Johnson Family
Rachel is the daughter of former Conservative MEP Stanley Johnson and artist Charlotte Johnson Wahl and the younger sister of Boris Johnson, the former Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Conservative MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip; and the elder sister of Jo Johnson, Conservative MP for Orpington.
She is a great-granddaughter of Ali Kemal, a liberal Circassian-Turkish journalist and the interior minister in the government of Damat Ferid Pasha, Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire, murdered in 1922 during the Turkish War of Independence. On her mother’s side she is a granddaughter of Sir James Fawcett, a prominent barrister and president of the European Commission of Human Rights.
Rachel Johnson Brother
She is the younger sister of Boris Johnson, the former Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
Rachel Johnson Husband | Children
She is married to Ivo Dawnay, since 1992. Together they live in London and Exmoor, Somerset with their three children.
Rachel Johnson Education
She was attended Winsford First School on Exmoor, Primrose Hill Primary in Camden, north London, the European School of Brussels, the independent Ashdown House School in East Sussex, Bryanston School in Dorset and St Paul’s Girls’ School. In 1984 she went to New College, Oxford to read Classics (Literae Humaniores); there she edited the student paper Isis and graduated with a 2:1.
Rachel Johnson Career
She joined the staff of the Financial Times, in 1989 becoming the first female graduate trainee at the paper, where she wrote about the economy. She spent a year on secondment to the Foreign Office Policy Planning Staff in 1992-93. She moved to the BBC in 1994, but left to move to Washington D.C. as a columnist and freelancer in 1997. She has written weekly columns for The Sunday Telegraph, The Daily Telegraph, the Evening Standard and other regular columns for Easy Living and She magazines, as well as the Financial Times. She is a contributing editor of The Spectator and until 2009 was a weekly columnist on The Sunday Times and the Evening Standard, among other publications. She now writes a weekly column in The Mail on Sunday, and a column for The Big Issue.
She was a judge in April 2014 in the BBC Woman’s Hour power list 2014. She appeared in Famous, Rich and Hungry on BBC1 in March 2014. She is a panelist on Sky News’ weekly debate show, The Pledge.
Johnson in September 2009, became the ninth editor of The Lady, a weekly magazine established in 1885. In her first few months on the post she worked on the subject of a Channel 4 documentary entitled The Lady and the Revamp. The documentary was nominated for a Grierson Award. Shortly after taking up the post she rebranded the magazine, and introduced well-known contributors and regular contributors such as Mary Killen and Alexander Chancellor, as well as overseeing a redesign by creative director Stefano Arata, to better compete with the mainstream women’s magazines. In January 2012, she was replaced as editor by Matt Warren. She presented an hour-long documentary for BBC Four entitled How to Be a Lady: An Elegant History, in March 2013.
Rachel Johnson Books
Her works as a novelist, include Notting Hell, Penguin 2006, which is a novel about couples living in the Notting Hill area of London, Shire Hell , and The Mummy Diaries “Penguin 2004”, a diary of her year living in London and Exmoor. While still an undergraduate at Oxford, she also commissioned and edited The Oxford Myth (Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1988). She is also wrote both A Diary of The Lady, My First Year as Editor (Penguin, 2010) and A Diary of The Lady, My first Year and a Half (2011). In 2012,A new novel, Winter Games, was published . Her final novel in the Notting Hell trilogy, Fresh Hell, was published in 2015. She was a judge of the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2013.
Johnson’s Shire Hell won the 2008 Bad Sex in Fiction Prize, which she described as being an “absolute honour”. On 21 December 2008 Her short story “Severely Gifted” appeared in The Sunday Times .
Rachel Johnson Net Worth
She has a net worth of US$ 5-10 million.
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Rachel Johnson Interview
What maketh The Lady? Rachel Johnson talks
Boris Johnson’s sister reveals why she’s having a blast as 9th editor of The Lady.
In its 124 year history, Britain’s oldest weekly women’s magazine, The Lady, had changed very little. But with a circulation of just 31,000 and an average readership age of 70, it was struggling. Help arrived last September in the form of Rachel Johnson, columnist, author and sister of Boris, who was appointed The Lady’s 9th editor in a bid to breathe new life into its fusty pages. So what’s it like to work at this British institution? How are its fortunes being turned around? And what does it mean to be a lady in today’s world? Rachel Johnson reveals all.
Interviewer: You took over as editor of The Lady magazine this September. How are you finding it so far?
Rachel: A total blast. I love being an editor. It’s huge fun asking great writers to contribute, picking images and cover stars and plucking out some of the plums for myself (ie interviewing Julie Andrews).
Interviewer: The Lady has had rather a fusty image for the past few years. How do you hope to attract a younger readership?
Rachel: By offering them timelessly good writing, and staying clear of the celebrity tat they can get everywhere else, and giving them stacks to read and enjoy every week as well as a real woman (ie over 40) on the cover.
Interviewer: Ben Budworth, the publisher, approached you about the position of editor at The Lady. What was your initial reaction when he first got in touch?
Rachel: Shock and amusement.
Interviewer: Why do you think you sprang to mind as a good candidate for the job?
Rachel: The mind boggles. Lord only knows.
Interviewer: What do you think gave you the edge over the other 21 candidates going for the post?
Rachel: I wanted it more than they did.
Interviewer: The position attracted some high flying applicants and there have only been eight editors in the magazine’s 124 year history. Why do you think it is such a covetable role?
Rachel: Because it is a unique English institution which had seen better days and was therefore a hugely exciting proposition with bags of potential upside for anyone who loves magazines and a challenge.
Interviewer: What did Boris think when you told him you had accepted the position?
Rachel: That I was crazy.
Interviewer: Describe the offices at The Lady.
Rachel: A multi-floored timecapsule of cream and eau-de-nil paint, twisting staircases, frowsty reception rooms, and an entrance that looks like a cross between an undertakers and a pub.
Interviewer: Until recently, staff at The Lady used to be given two freshly laundered hand towels each morning. What traditions such as this still make The Lady an unusual place to work?
Rachel: The receptionist Ros has a voice of fluting gentility and callers say that it’s like being taken back in time to a more refined age when they ring. We also do a serious tea in the afternoon with china cups and walnut cake.
Interviewer: What do you think it means to be ‘a lady’ in today’s world?
Rachel: Anyone can be a lady – it’s a question of attitude not age, behaviour not breeding or birth. About putting others first, not the me-generation…
Interviewer: Do you consider yourself to be ladylike?
Rachel: Yes in that I hate rudeness. No in that I am a terrible slob and untidy.
Interviewer: Which lady, living today, do you admire and why?
Rachel: I admire lots of them, but it has to be Debo, Duchess of Devonshire, for her humour, style, panache, eye, and entrepreneurialism and completely fearless and elegant approach to life.
Interviewer: What is going to be your biggest challenge as editor of The Lady?
Rachel: Raising the circulation and keeping the old girl afloat.
Interviewer: You’ve published three books mocking the ‘yummy mummy’ lifestyle. Would you like to write another and, if so, what would it be about?
Rachel: I am writing two books – one about The Lady, and a novel set in Germany in the mid-30s.
Interviewer: Do you shop online? What is your favourite website?
Rachel Johnson News
Rachel Johnson: I do apologise for my brother Boris… he didn’t go NEARLY far enough!
Updated On: 11th August 2018
A rival columnist on another newspaper wrote last week that even though the burka was ridiculous and made women look like letterboxes and bank-robbers, he still wouldn’t ban it.
Well, I happen to know that what that columnist would ban like a shot is me writing anything about this, or him, blonde on blond.
Bad news, bro. Despite last week’s evidence to the contrary, we do live in a free country.
If you can say what you think – and, the polls show, what most of the country thinks – about the burka, the niqab, and the right of women to wear the full-face veil in the UK, it’s only fair I can, too.
After all, he says that if he learnt one thing after two years travelling the globe as Foreign Secretary, it is this: that most problems can be solved by treating women equally. Still, I am aware that anything I write could annoy not just him but anyone and everyone.
Our great-grandparents were Jewish, Muslim and Christian. My name is Rachel (that’s Hebrew for ‘ewe’) Sabiha (meaning ‘dawn’ in Arabic) and Johnson (that’s American for the male member).
I could go on. My brother Leo has a Muslim wife born in Kabul and two half-Afghan Muslim daughters who all speak Farsi. If I had a pound for everyone who has said to me since the referendum, ‘Oooh, must be interesting around the Johnson Sunday lunch table’, I’d be a rich woman, and all I can say is, imagine the conversations now.
So maybe best to get in my all-purpose apology for what I say well in advance. Sorry everyone!
Now that’s out of the way, may I be permitted to put in a few words for the former Foreign Secretary and my forever older brother?
I read his piece. It read like a column written on a Sunday morning while on holiday in Italy, with a bottle or two of Asti Spumante chilling in the fridge for lunch.
If I’d been phoning it in, as it were, I might have changed the word ‘ridiculous’ and cut out ‘bank robbers’, but apart from these two or three words, it seemed fine and fair – in fact, it didn’t go far enough to express, in my view, how oppressive the garment is.
When I see a woman wearing one, I don’t try to ‘other’ her. The reverse. I try to imagine myself in her shoes. On the street. All the rest of my family are in casual shorts and T-shirts and flip-flops, but I’m a faceless, unidentifiable ghost in a suffocating black shroud. On the beach, my man in skimpy Speedos (OK, please no) me in hot dark fabric from head to toe, having to eat an ice cream by posting the pudding into my mouth from under a flap beneath my chin.
I wasn’t triggered by what he wrote, then, but many people (some of them friends) have felt entitled to call my brother a racist, a creep, and other names that are far more insulting, and nasty, than anything he wrote.
THE main charge of his critics seems to be this. His sun-lounger piece was a nativist dog whistle to the shaggier Tory grassroots in the overgrown outfield of the shires; it was subliminal anti-Muslim messaging meant for a Right-wing audience to reach beyond the thought-policed, well-groomed boundary of ‘the bubble’.
In objection to this, 100 Muslim women have written – minus their surnames – to protest, and there are street demos in his Uxbridge constituency. Within the Tory Party, Lord Sheikh and others have called for the whip to be removed. There have been calls for an inquiry. The PM’s request for an apology was seconded by Ruth Davidson, leader of the Scottish Tories. Remainers threatened to leave the party.
But it all smelt to an outsider like infighting – a pathetic bout of blue-on-blue, fuelled by rage that Burkagate interrupted the Labour Party’s epic self-destruction over anti-Semitism. To me it felt like this: he wrote what he thought, and probably in a hurry.
It happens to be what a lot of people think when they see a woman in a burka, but coming from a former holder of one of the great offices of state, and not a comedian, his words failed the political-correctness stress test. Is that a crime? Cressida Dick, the Met boss, says no, and I agree with her.
Yet many of his gleeful critics declared themselves deeply offended, but still managed to stick the boot in with abandon. They accused him of ‘criminalising’ women by comparing their appearance to that of bank robbers (surely a bit strong?)
They accused him of dehumanising women, completely missing the main point which is that the burka/niqab dehumanises women. They do not express individuality, they suppress it.
I would like to make it very clear I loathe the idea women will be harassed or abused in the street as a result of any of this. I very much hope they aren’t. The thought that it licenses xenophobia is horrifying. But clothes have a language, a meaning, and a message. And what the full-face veil wearer conveys is that she is subscribing to a ‘toxic patriarchy controlling women’.
Not my words, by the way – the words of one leading imam, who also said that the fact that many younger women say they choose to wear it and assert their right to hide their faces is proof they have ‘internalised this poisonous chauvinism’.
Other notables – such as Lib Dem leader Sir Vince Cable – have wondered whether Boris would be ‘derogatory’ about nuns and Orthodox Jewish women’s costume.
I CAN answer: only, Vince, if these faiths became so extreme that they also demanded the obliteration of the identity of only one sex in the public realm (I might also tell him our aunt Sarah, my mother’s sister, was a Catholic nun. She wore a steepling black habit and wimple for 17 years. We called her Auntie Nun).
My brother’s crime, if that’s not too strong a word, was to use some ill-advised and, as it turns out, unoriginal comparisons (the letterbox gag was from the old jokes home and has been used by a Muslim woman in The Guardian as well as the BBC) while being too impeccably liberal in not supporting the Danish niqab ban.
He argued the law should not tell ‘a free-born adult woman what she may or may not wear in a public place when she is simply minding her own business’. I don’t agree. I’d go along with the Danes, and France, Belgium, Bulgaria and Austria, in banning them.
These countries are not imposing a ban – they are lifting one on the rights of women to feel the sun on their skin, the water on their bodies, and for their children to see their mothers’ full faces in the street. They are lifting a ban on the rights of women to be seen without the fear their brothers and husbands and uncles will object that they are ‘dishonouring’ them in some way.
No, Boris did not go too far – he did not go far enough.
For that I can only apologise.
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