Mary-Kay Wilmers

Mary-Kay Wilmers
©Luke Waller

Over artichoke risotto in Marylebone, the formidable editor of the London Review of Books talks to Lucy Kellaway about controversy, literary neighbours and Helena Bonham Carter

U Win Htein, aide to Aung San Suu Kyi

Over rare steaks and red wine, one of Aung San Suu Kyi’s closest aides talks about his military past and whether ‘the Lady’ is too big a figure in Myanmar’s opposition

©Patrick Morgan

Mariana Mazzucato, economics professor

Over duck and Pouilly-Fumé in London, the economist talks about ‘austerity craziness’ and Silicon Valley ‘free-riding’

Illustration of Neil Shen by James Ferguson
©James Ferguson

Neil Shen, venture capitalist

At the offices of a drone maker, the billionaire investor talks about China’s market meltdown and why he gives money to ‘small, fast fish’

©Patrick Morgan

Mhairi Black, MP

Over chicken korma in London, Britain’s youngest MP since 1832 talks about Scottish nationalism, her meteoric ascent into Westminster and pub politics

The Fat Jew
©James Ferguson

The Fat Jew, Instagram celebrity

Over cocktails at a New York strip club, the online superstar explains why big brands want to cash in on his profane humour

Beppe Grillo, politician

Over seafood in Sardinia, the head of Italy’s biggest protest party talks about comedy and corrupt politics

Luke Waller's illustration of Sheikha Moza
©Luke Waller

Sheikha Moza, philanthropist

Qatar’s former first lady talks about her expanding education empire, foreign ‘hypocrisy’ and ‘how to deal with wealth’

James Ferguson's illustration of Pavel Durov
©James Ferguson

Pavel Durov, entrepreneur

The tech entrepreneur on founding Russia’s biggest social networking app, falling out with Putin and life as a global nomad

Illustration by James Ferguson of Thomas Piketty
©James Ferguson

Thomas Piketty, professor

The French ‘rock-star’ economist on the eurozone, inequality and tax

Takashi Murakami, artist

Over two burgers in Tokyo, ‘Japan’s Andy Warhol’ talks to David Pilling about art, capitalism and the value of fantasy

Richard Desmond, businessman

Over a bottle of Château Palmer, the media mogul calls the British prime minister ‘rude’, swears quite a lot and talks to Henry Mance about what to do with a billion in cash

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, economist

Nigeria’s departing finance minister on her country’s new beginning and why she’ll never succumb to the ‘dark side’

Federico Marchetti, tech entrepreneur

The founder of online luxury retailer Yoox speaks to Jo Ellison about the ‘perfect’ merger with Net-a-Porter — and the shopping habits of different nations

James Gorman, bank executive

The head of Morgan Stanley on taking radical action on pay and the continuing attraction of Wall Street

Saikhanbileg Chimed, government official

Mongolia’s prime minister talks foreign investment and China

Sandro Veronesi, entrepreneur

Over horsemeat in Verona, the hosiery billionaire talks about socks, swimwear — and inflaming Italy’s opera establishment

Arnab Goswami, news anchor

The abrasive TV star on why India will become the media capital of the world

Hervé Falciani, systems engineer

The HSBC whistleblower on Edward Snowden and fearing for his life

Jessye Norman, opera singer

The soprano with a reputation for outlandish demands discusses racial stereotypes — and why being called a ‘diva’ is a compliment


This column is a weekly interview in the Life & Arts section with leading cultural and business figures.