PEOPLE OF THE CITY: DYLAN JONES

The editor of British GQ on wanting Christmas to last as long as possible, taking gift wrapping seriously and catching the latest musical every year

14 December, 2019

What epitomises Christmas in London for you?

The Fortnum’s skating evening at Somerset House, because it’s a family affair and reminds me of Christmases in London when I was a boy.

What’s your earliest or best Christmas memory?

My father used to travel so much in the air force, Christmas was one of few times he was at home for any lengthy period of time. I wanted it to last as long as possible, and because of that memory, these days I still always want it to last for as long as it can.

What smells and tastes do you associate with the festive period?

Wood fires, and cloves for hot toddies.

What is your favourite Christmas dessert?

Christmas pudding – 100%.

What’s on your Christmas list to give and/or to receive, from The Royal Exchange?

I’d love a Rolex Submariner watch from Watches of Switzerland. And I always give my wife a stocking filler of a personalised Smythson diary for the year to come.

What’s your Christmas gift-wrapping style?

Very elaborate – I take Christmas very, very seriously. I spend a fortune on wrapping paraphernalia, and I don’t begrudge it. I love Christmas in a thoroughly unironic way.

Do you have any special, unique or unconventional Christmas traditions?

Lots – one is that I always take the family to see a musical. Over the years we’ve seen The Kinks musical (Sunny Afternoon), Hamilton, Beautiful, Mamma Mia, Bat out of Hell – we’ve seen them all. It’s always a surprise so I can’t tell you what this year’s one is in case my family see this!

Do you own a Christmas jumper?

Yes, and I bring it out when we have to do that silly picture at work. We also do a family jumper picture every year. My Christmas jumpers are always by Ralph Lauren.

What’s your favourite Christmas film?

There’s only one Christmas film. It’s my second favourite film of all time – White Christmas – and I watch it every year.

Do you have a favourite Christmas song?

I have hundreds; I have lots of Christmas playlists. But if I had to choose one it would be the Killers’ A Great Big Sled. It’s got a phenomenal chorus; all Christmas songs have phenomenal choruses.

What signifies the start of the festive season for you?

The GQ Christmas lunch. There are still people recovering from last year’s.

What do you think is the best way to help others at Christmastime?

Giving money to charity.

Dylan Jones OBE is an award-winning author and journalist who has served as editor of British GQ for two decades