Rachel Johnson: It ‘took a while’ to adjust to Boris being PM
Rachel Johnson, 55, has firmly dismissed claims she was only appointed a radio host on LBC due to Prime Minister Boris Johnson being her elder brother. The former Woman’s Hour power list judge also admitted on occasion, people will call into her radio show with the sole intention of “venting their spleen” against her famous sibling.
It’s up to me to prove them wrong
Rachel, who is currently appearing in Celebrity Best Home Cook 2021, shared: “When I joined LBC last April, people sniped that I’d only got the job [because of her brother] even though I worked at Radio 4… because, you know. Fair enough.
“It’s up to me to prove them wrong. It only adds to the squeaky-trousered excitement of live broadcasting.
“The truth is, I’ve always wanted a gig at LBC (who hasn’t?). I started badgering the boss, James Rea, more than a decade ago,” she added to Radio Times.
However, her patience can be tested when listeners dial in to share their frustrations with her brother’s government.
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She continued: “I try to be polite and kill with kindness.
“I only cut off callers when they ring up simply to use me as a conduit to vent their spleen against the Prime Minister.”
Rachel is the daughter of former Conservative MP Stanley Johnson and one of his three children, including Boris.
Her elder sister Jo is the Conservative MP for Orpington.
Rachel read Classics at Oxford and went on to secure a role working at the Financial Times after graduating.
She has also written columns in The Sunday Telegraph, The Daily Telegraph and The Evening Standard.
In 2009 Rachel became the ninth editor of The Lady, a magazine established back in 1985.
She then became a judge on BBC’s Woman’s Hour.
Throughout her career, Rachel has remained adamant she is not just “Boris Johnson’s sister” and has worked hard to establish her own identity.
Opening up on writing her gossip column for the Daily Mail, she told Grazia: “I want to do something that counts for something.
“I’ve always been a political nerd. I’d be sitting reading the latest blog from the LSE on Brexit.
“Then I’d be talking to Geordie [Greig, then-editor of The Mail On Sunday] about whether I should do something about who should walk Meghan up the aisle… it was a very schizophrenic six years.”
Rachel began to consider a career in politics during the Brexit campaign and joined the Liberal Democrats to push for the people’s vote.
However, she felt “used” for publicity by the party.
She explained: “I want to get stuck in, I don’t want to be used as, ‘sister of Boris.'”
Celebrity Best Home Cook will air on BBC One tonight at 9pm.
Read the full interview in this week’s Radio Times – on sale now.
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