Hugo Rifkind

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Hugo Rifkind
Hugo James Rifkind

(1977-03-30) 30 March 1977 (age 42)
Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
EducationLoretto School, Musselburgh
George Watson's College, Edinburgh
Emmanuel College, Cambridge
OccupationJournalist & broadcaster
FamilyThe Rt Hon. Sir Malcolm Rifkind (father)
Edith Rifkind (mother)

Hugo James Rifkind (born 30 March 1977)[1] is a British journalist who is a columnist for The Times. He is a regular guest on The News Quiz, on BBC Radio 4.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Hugo Rifkind was born in 1977 in Edinburgh, the son of the Conservative Party politician Sir Malcolm Rifkind and his wife Edith.[3]

Rifkind was educated at the independent Loretto School in Musselburgh, near Edinburgh,[4] where, he has written, he was the only Jewish pupil.[5] He also attended George Watson's College in Edinburgh before reading philosophy at Emmanuel College, Cambridge.[6]

Career in journalism[edit]

Rifkind began his career in journalism as an editorial assistant for the show business website, before becoming a freelance writer for The Times and the Evening Standard, and a columnist for The Herald in Glasgow from 2002 to 2005. He joined The Times in 2005, taking over the gossip column ("People") from Andrew Pierce.

In The Times, Rifkind writes a Tuesday opinion column, and a satirical diary ("My Week") in the style of a public figure in the news, and a television review column, both on Saturdays. From 2007 to 2017 he wrote a fortnightly column for The Spectator, striking a liberal, pro-European tone which ran against the magazine's conservative, Eurosceptic editorial line. Frequently his columns expressed concern about anthropogenic global warming, about which The Spectator's writers are often "sceptical".

He also contributes a monthly column for GQ. Additionally, he has appeared on BBC Radio 4's satirical quiz show The News Quiz.[7] Throughout the general election of 2015, he presented Campaign Sidebar, a Saturday morning political review show on BBC Radio 4. His debut novel, Overexposure, a satirical farce set in the London media world, was published in 2007. A compendium of his columns, My Week: The Secret Diaries Of Almost Everyone, was published in 2013.

Rifkind was named Columnist of the Year in the 2011 Editorial Intelligence Comment Awards, and Media Commentator of the Year in the same awards in 2012. He was highly commended in the Best of Humour category at the Society of Editors' Press Awards in 2012.[8] He was Stonewall's Journalist of the Year in 2012, in recognition of his strong support for equal marriage. The same year, he was also named Best Grooming Journalist in the P&G Beauty Awards.[9] In 2015, at the Comment Awards, he was named Arts, Culture and Entertainment Commentator of The Year.[10] In 2017, he won both Best of Humour and Critic of the Year at the Society of Editors' Press Awards. [11]

In August 2014, Rifkind was one of 200 public figures who were signatories to a letter to The Guardian expressing their hope that Scotland would vote to remain part of the United Kingdom in September's referendum on that issue.[12]

In a 2011 Times column, Rifkind admitted that on 23 November 2010 he had inserted fictitious information about Queen Victoria in Wikipedia's article on the date 29 April. The information was then repeated as fact by two national newspapers (the Daily Mirror and The Daily Telegraph) the following day.[13][14][15][16]

In May 2019, Rifkind presented a wrote a BBC Radio 4 programme titled Hugo Rifkind's Search For Power.[17]



  • Overexposure (2006) ISBN 1841959421
  • My Week: The Secret Diaries of Almost Everyone (2013)



  1. ^ "Hugo James RIFKIND – Personal Appointments (free information from Companies House)". Companies House, Government of the United Kingdom.
  2. ^ "BBC Radio 4 - The News Quiz, Series 98, Episode 8". BBC. Retrieved 12 May 2019.
  3. ^ Scott, Interviews by Caroline (23 July 2006). "Sir Malcolm Rifkind and his son, Hugo". The Sunday Times. ISSN 0956-1382. Retrieved 24 September 2019.
  4. ^ Rifkind, Hugo (9 December 2009). "Shared Opinion: Climate change has become a proxy subject for people who just want to sound off". The Spectator. 311 (9459): 28. Archived from the original on 23 December 2009. Retrieved 17 December 2009.
  5. ^ Rifkind, Hugo (12 August 2014). "Suddenly it feels uncomfortable to be a Jew". The Times. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  6. ^ "Hugo Rifkind". Institute of Ideas. 2009. Retrieved 17 December 2009.
  7. ^ "Hugo Rifkind's entry at the literary agency PFD". Archived from the original on 11 October 2007. Retrieved 20 June 2007.
  8. ^ Comment Awards. "Previous Winners". Comment Awards. Retrieved 19 August 2012.
  9. ^ "Hall of Fame" Archived 14 April 2015 at the Wayback Machine, P&G Beauty & Grooming Awards.
  10. ^ Comment Awards. "Previous Winners". Comment Awards. Retrieved 9 January 2016.
  11. ^ Ltd, Magstar. "Press Awards". Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |website= (help)
  12. ^ "Celebrities' open letter to Scotland – full text and list of signatories". The Guardian. London. 7 August 2014. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  13. ^ Rifkind, Hugo (8 January 2011). "The website that turned the world wiki". The Times. Retrieved 18 January 2018. (subscription required)
  14. ^ [1] "1872 – Queen Victoria rushed to hospital in Inverness after breaking a toe while fly-fishing at Balmoral"
  15. ^ Kamm, Oliver (26 November 2013). "Give us the facts, not Wikipedia's witterings". The Times.
  16. ^ Private Eye, Issue 1277
  17. ^ "BBC - Hugo Rifkind's Search For Power - Media Centre". Retrieved 24 September 2019.

External links[edit]