Press Conference With...ZAC GOLDSMITH

The newspapers and glossy magazines have dined out lavishly on the peccadilloes of the Goldsmith family for decades. The late tycoon Sir James Goldsmith was rarely out of the headlines — or Private Eye, which he sued relentlessly — as he swashbuckled his way to his fortune. He launched the Referendum Party before dying of pancreatic cancer in 1997, aged 64.

Next, Jemima became the darling of the press with her ill-fated marriage to cricketing icon Imran Kahn, and these days the paparazzi do a sunshine business out of her "holidaying"

romance with Hugh Grant.

On a more serious trajectory is Zac, particularly since Tory leader David Cameron appointed him as No.2 on the Quality of Life task force to research environmental issues in preparation to adopt them into the party’s manifesto.

Zac is aboard after years of green campaigning, not least through The Ecologist magazine, which he edits, owns and financially props up.

Eton-educated Zac inherited a fortune estimated by the papers at anything from £10 million to £300m. But he is no playboy. Now 31, he is a married father of three with a home in Chelsea and an organic farm in Devon.

We meet at The Ecologist’s tatty and cramped offices in an old warehouse office block by the river in Chelsea. Foam spews out of the meeting-room chairs. Zac, in a white shirt fraying slightly at the cuffs, is pinched-eyed after a sleepless night caring for an unwell child.

He is diffident, faultlessly polite and speaks in a gentle voice that moves at a nervously accelerated pace. He drags intermittently on roll ups — Golden Virginia deftly rolled in Rizla Blues into immaculate cones that would make a Rasta proud.

For the full interview see this weeks Press Gazette.

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