Rachel Johnson

Diary: Armchair Field Marshal still fighting the last war

Although only a fool would reach a firm conclusion about Ed Miliband's leadership so soon, one omen suggests he'll do fine. Armchair Field Marshal the Lord (David) Aaronovitch has come to a firm conclusion about Little Ed's leadership, declaring him no leader at all. Writing in The Times, the fearless Parker Knoll warrior deconstructs Ed's conference speech to paint him as a posturing student politician of the kind who might answer every University Challenge question with "Trotsky".

Julia Budworth: Tea with 'The Lady'

Matthew Bell takes cake with the co-owner of the genteel women's weekly magazine – and finds her in a remarkable fury over its editor, Rachel Johnson

It's war at 'The Lady' magazine

Editor Rachel Johnson is a snob, vain, a loose cannon with no visual sense. And all she thinks of is sex. Who says so? Why, Julia Budworth, co-owner of the upmarket women's weekly magazine

Diary: A pair of Blow-Up models

Last week David Gandy D&G's favourite budgie-smuggler, kept us guessing as to the details of his first acting role, in a film he's shot with fellow model Helena Christensen. Cornered at the Triumph Inspiration Awards, Christensen, was more forthcoming than her co-star. Turns out the short is a tribute to Antonioni's 1966 classic, Blow-Up. Its director is Edoardo Ponti, son of Sophia Loren and Carlo Ponti, who produced the original movie about a fashion photographer embroiled in a murder. Gender roles reversed, the tribute features Christensen (herself a snapper) as the photographer, with Gandy in the blessedly unchallenging role of one of her models. "I have huge admiration for actors; it is one of the strangest places you can go with yourself," said Christensen airily. "I wanted to push myself into a situation where I'm pulled out of a comfort zone and put in a very challenging place... It was an amazing experience." Essex-born Gandy's description was somewhat earthier: "I haven't had a single acting class," he told me, "[so] I was really bricking it."

Parties: Is it bed time already?

Innuendo and smut were the watchwords at the Artesian, the buzzy bar of the Langham Hotel, London recently. Crammed into the slick new venue was a raucous harem of female novelists and their partners, all celebrating the launch of In Bed With, an anthology of erotic short stories.

Design: Gods of small things

Tired of the expensive plans in glossy mags, Kate Watson-Smyth takes advice from real gardeners on how to turn a city yard into an oasis