Lucy Kellaway

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Lucy Kellaway (born 26 June 1959) is the management columnist at the Financial Times. Her column is syndicated in The Irish Times. In addition she has worked as energy correspondent, Brussels correspondent, a Lex writer, and interviewer of business people and celebrities, all with the FT. She has become best known for her satirical commentaries on the limitations of modern corporate culture. She is a regular commentator on the BBC World Service daily business programme Business Daily. At the British Press Awards 2006 she was named Columnist of the Year.

Personal life[edit]

Born in London, the daughter of Australians Bill and Deborah Kellaway, the writer on gardening,[1] Kellaway attended Camden School for Girls, where her mother taught English, and then Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford,[2] where she read Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE).[3] She is married to David Goodhart, the former editor of Prospect, and has four children. Her sister is the critic and The Observer writer Kate Kellaway.[1]



After initially working at the foreign exchange dealing room of Morgan Guaranty[4] and at the Investors Chronicle,[5] she has worked for the FT since 1985, where she wrote the Monday column "Lucy Kellaway on Management". Some years later, a satirical column purporting to be the emails of Martin Lukes, a senior manager in a company called A&B (later expensively re-branded to a-b glöbâl) would appear on Thursdays.[5] It was revealed in 2005 that these were written by Kellaway (see below).

She currently writes the "Dear Lucy" column,[6] in which she adopts the point of view of a business agony aunt in response to letters sent by readers.


She wrote the management book Sense and Nonsense in the Office in 1999.

Her second book was a satirical novel in emails: Martin Lukes: Who Moved My BlackBerry (July 2005).

"Martin Lukes stands for every male manager trying to scramble to the top of the greasy pole. He is driven by ambition. He has little self-doubt—and even less self-knowledge. He thinks of himself as highly emotionally intelligent but has no idea how he is coming across. He is hungry for money, but more hungry for recognition. He wants people to love him and to be dazzled by his ability to "think outside the square," yet the ideas he comes up with are phony and pedestrian. He is a shameless player of the political game who manages by being a world-class brownnoser to disguise the fact that his native abilities are not quite as world-class as he would like."[7]

On the launch of a redesigned FT in April 2007, the editor listed Kellaway (and Lukes) as the second of five key items of unique content as reasons for reading the FT.[8] The Answers: All the office questions you never dared to ask was published in paperback in late 2007.

In 2010, Kellaway published the novel In Office Hours. The book focused on the ill-advised love affairs of two women working for a large oil company. Like much of Kellaway's work, it focused on office mores, but also displayed an emotional range that surprised some readers who were more used to the pure parody of Martin Lukes. In Office Hours was serialised on BBC Radio 4's Book at Bedtime and described as ""funny, truthful and cracking satire" by The Sunday Times. It was favourably reviewed in The Observer.[9]

Other activities and honours[edit]

In 2006 she was appointed a non-executive director of the insurance company Admiral Group. In 2013, she presented the History of Office Life for BBC Radio 4, a series of ten daily 15-minute programmes. Kellaway is a regular contributor to the BBC World Service programme Business Daily.[10]

On 20 July 2012, she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Essex.[11]


  1. ^ a b Hester Robinson Obituary: Deborah Kellaway, The Guardian, 27 January 2006
  2. ^ Sale, Jonathan (2007-02-01). "Passed/Failed: An education in the life of Lucy Kellaway, agony aunt of the Financial Times". Independent on Sunday. Independent News and Media Limited. Retrieved 2007-12-30. 
  3. ^ "Prominent LMH Alumni", Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford
  4. ^ Big Bang and financial crisis did nothing to the City bullyboys, Lucy Kellaway FT16 Nov 2014
  5. ^ a b Williams, Sally (25 April 2010), "Lucy Kellaway interview for In Office Hours", The Daily Telegraph, retrieved 19 December 2011 
  6. ^
  7. ^ interview in Fast Company
  8. ^ FT Coversheet article 23 April 2007
  9. ^ Elizabeth Day "In Office Hours by Lucy Kellaway, The Observer, 9 May 2010
  10. ^ BBC World Service Business Programmes
  11. ^ "Essex: Harry Potter director gets university honour - News - East Anglian Daily Times". 2012. Retrieved 21 July 2012. 

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