Editorial Archives - Shoot|Photographers Agent London | Shoot|Photographers Agent London

Pip recently had the privilege of photographing the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, for Red Magazine in the chambers of City Hall.  Sadiq impressed Pip not only as a politician but as a person, as Pip put it, ‘Not only the city’s first ethnic minority mayor and the first Muslim to become mayor of a major Western capital, but also a top bloke to hang out with.’



Pip recently had the privilege of photographing the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, for Red Magazine in the chambers of City Hall.  Sadiq impressed Pip not only as a politician but as a person, as Pip put it, ‘Not only the city’s first ethnic minority mayor and the first Muslim to become mayor of a major Western capital, but also a top bloke to hang out with.’



Liam Arthur shot High Content magazine’s story featuring the new range of bags by Swedish designers Sandqvist.  The online magazine partnered the launch of the Sandqvist Women’s AW16 range at London Fashion week at their flagship store in Soho.

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Make up and hair: Mary-Jane Gotidoc using Black Opal Cosmetics / Bumble & Bumble

Styling: Nathan Klein

Model: Raine @ Leni’s Models

Jay Brooks was commissioned to picture Nadiya Hussain, the super bright – in every sense – winner of 2015’s Great British Bake Off, for the cover of You magazine.

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Since winning Bake Off, the extraordinary Nadiya has had the most incredible year.  So remarkable in fact that the Daily Telegraph chose to list her achievements under the title ’10 Inspiring Things Nadiya Hussain has done since winning GBBO.  And here they are:

1 Written a cookbook.  And it’s not all cakes, it has Asian savouries too!

2 Written a children’s cookbook.  It features stories and child friendly recipes and is dedicated to Nadiya’s three children, Musa, Dawud and Maryam.  It features photographs of them throughout, is generally rather lovely by all accounts and is out soon.

3 Spoken out about racism.  Her comments about how she had come to “expect” racism highlighted just how horrifically ingrained such experiences can become. But she also displayed moving resilience, and a determination to focus on the positive.

“I don’t retaliate. I feel like there’s a dignity in silence, and I feel that if I retaliate to negativity with negativity then we’ve evened out,” she explained. “And I don’t need to even that out, because if somebody’s being negative I need to be the better person.”

4 Landed her own TV show.  New two part series The Chronicles of Nadiya starts tonight on BBC One, and will follow the Bake Off winner as she travels to Bangladesh, where her parents were born and where large parts of her extended family still reside. Part cookery show, part travel diary, Chronicles will see Nadiya travel to her family’s village and cook for a relative’s wedding feast.

5 She’s a magazine columnist.  She’s writing for The Times Magazine and is planning to revive the swiss roll!

6 She’s been reunited with the woman who taught her to bake.  Her secondary school home economics teacher Jean Marshall who got her “hooked” on baking, sparking a passion for traditional British puddings and sponges.

7 She’s baked a birthday cake for the Queen.

8 She’s been named as one of the most influential people in Britain by Debretts.

9 She’s getting remarried so that she can have a party – her first wedding in Bangladesh wasn’t a lot of fun

10  And she’s moving to Milton Keynes!  (Not entirely sure that is really inspiring)

And she has been on Desert Island Discs.

Quite a year!


Imbibe, the beverage bible and ultimate drinks magazine, asked Scott Grummett again to shoot some more cocktails for them.ImbibeImbibeImbibeImbibe

“This time around it was Cocktails at Home, a feature written by the lovely Laura Foster focusing on one spirit at a time to use whilst entertaining guests in your own house. This time around it was all about whisky or as the Americans may know it SCOTCH.”

Pip photographed actor and fashion designer Sadie Frost for the Lynn Barber interview in The Sunday Times Magazine.

Sadie Frost

The shoot took place at Wilton’s Music Hall in the east end of London where Sadie is rehearsing for a new play, Britten in Brooklyn, which opens at the end of August.

Here’s some of the feature by Lynn Barber. “The play actually sounds very interesting. It’s about a period from 1940 to 1941 when Benjamin Britten, WH Auden and Carson McCullers (author of The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter) were all sharing a house in Brooklyn, along with the stripper Gypsy Rose Lee. Sadie, of course, plays Gypsy. “She’s a great character and has a very sparky wit. She’s known as a showgirl, but there’s this other side to her — she wrote a wonderful memoir and also wrote a bestselling novel during this time called The G-String Murders. But she probably felt a bit in Carson McCullers’s shadow, so there’s this very intense relationship between the two of them. Obviously, I’ve got to work on the accent.””

Read the full article here.

Hair by Shivaughn Murphy

Make up by Sara Menitra




Rebecca Miller photographed Natalie and Elliot Bergman, the duo at the heart of American rockers Wild Belle, for The Untitled Magazine.  They were celebrating the release of their second album for Columbia, ‘Dreamland’.  Brother and sister, they are definite about the importance of their relationship to the music. ‘Nothing gets between blood. We’re unbreakable. We have a bond that you can’t fuck up.’ said Natalie.

Here’s some of what The Untitled Magazine said about the band.  ‘Growing up in a musical household in Chicago, a city known for its Bluesy roots, it was only natural for siblings Natalie and Elliot Bergman to form a band together. Known as Wild Belle, the duo’s signature style combines Elliot’s penchant for reggae rhythms and tropical sounds with Natalie’s raw vocals and rockstar swagger. Both musicians play instruments and collaborate on songwriting but it was Natalie’s life that provided the basis for their second full-length album, Dreamland. Reeling from the end of a romantic relationship, she packed up her bags and drove across country, settling in Venice, California. There she penned most of the album which proves to be a slightly darker follow-up to the band’s catchy debut, Isles.’

Styling: Tiffany Briseno @ Wilhelmina Artists
Hair by Deborah Brider using Shu Uemura Art of Hair
Make up by Tadayoshi Honda
Shot on location at The Carlton Hotel and The Millesime restaurant, NYC


Jay Brooks produced this brilliant,  almost surreally regal image of the very fabulous June Whitfield to accompany her interview with You magazine.

The nation’s second most famous nonagenarian – she’s the same age as the Queen – is publicising Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie in which she revives her TV role as the smart and sceptical mother of the perpetually adolescent and permanently drunk fashion diva Edina Monsoon (Jennifer Saunders).

In the Ab Fab interview she shows an appropriately detachment to modern show biz and its stars and celebrities, some of whom have cameos in the film: Kate Moss is seen quaffing champagne and smoking a fag; Kim Kardashian turns up, as do Harry Styles and Rebel Wilson. Did June get to meet any of them?

‘I haven’t heard of Rebel. I know Kim is a model. I don’t want to name anyone else as they’re supposed to be a surprise.’

What about Vogue cover star Alexa Chung, who is also rumoured to appear?

‘Alexa who?’ she says.

Absolutely extreme styling by Natalie Read.

Ab Fab: The Movie is out on 1st July.





For their feature on artificial intelligence, The Guardian Weekend commissioned Jay Brooks to photograph chef Yotam Ottolenghi’s head to head cook off with a robot.

To see how far artificial intelligence has progressed, the paper set up a series of tests where human experts were pitted against AI in the fields of translation, writing, painting and cooking to see if it could match human creativity.

In the cooking contest, Yotam Ottolenghi was faced with IBM’s chef Watson, a robot, (though we don’t think he’s the one in the pictures) and they were challenged to produce a dish from a random set on ingredients including chicken livers and tequila.

Writer Leo Benedictus gave his verdict on the results.

‘Well, I will say it isn’t horrible. Humans have served me worse. Although in truth the  name that IBM’s Chef Watson gives this dish (“Chicken Liver Savoury Sauce”)is about as appetising as it deserves.

To be fair to Chef Watson, and to Guardian Weekend’s own chef-columnist Yotam Ottolenghi, I had set them quite a task. I asked for a dish based on four ingredients that seemed to belong nowhere near each other: chicken livers, Greek yoghurt, wasabi and tequila. They could add whatever else they liked, but those four had to be in the finished dish, which I would cook and eat.

Chef Watson didn’t hesitate, instantly giving me two pasta sauces. Ottolenghi was more circumspect. “When I got the challenge I thought,  ‘This is not going to work,’” he tells me. I thought the same. Or at least I thought I would end up eating two dishes that managed to be OK despite their ingredients, rather than because of them. In fact – and you’ll think me a creep, but so what – Ottolenghi’s recipe was a revelation: liver and onion and a tequila reduction, served with an apple, radish, beetroot and chicory slaw, with a wasabi and yoghurt dressing. The dish may make little sense on paper, but I devoured a plateful feeling that every element belonged. (And vinaigrette thickened with yoghurt and wasabi instead of mustard: seriously, give it a try.)  Ottolenghi tells me the recipe is just a whisker short of publishable.

The thing is, that dish took him and his team three days to perfect. They were able to taste and discuss flavours, textures, colours, temperatures, in a way that Watson can’t – although there have been“discussions” about adding a feedback mechanism in future, Chef Watson’s lead engineer, Florian Pinel, tells me. “A recipe is such a complex thing it’s difficult for me even to understand how a computer would approach it.”

Verdict: Watson hides the weirdness of the ingredients, but Ottolenghi makes them sing.’




Gavin Watson provides the pictures for the June issue of Men’s Health’s story about the return of the ‘wider trouser’ – so it’s RIP skinny jeans.

As MH puts it, ‘It was inevitable. After more than a decade of slim-fit hegemony, wider cuts are rediscovering favour. Skinnies may still hog the high street, but from runway big-swingers (notably Topman Design) to modish design houses (see Acne Studios), looser silhouettes are dominating new collections. This is to be embraced: not only are they more becoming, wide legs offer a freedom of movement skinny jeans simply can’t. You just need to follow some basic rules.’

Styling by Eric Down with hair by Ernesto Montenovo and make up by Marijelle Moreno.



With the new series of Peaky Blinders about to launch, Ray Burmiston was commissioned to shoot Helen McCrory, one of its stars.

Peaky Blinders, for anyone who doesn’t know ( there may be some ), is an epic gangster drama set in 1920s Birmingham and Ms McCrory plays the part of Polly Grey, ‘Aunt Polly’, the second in command and eminence gris of the notorious crime family led by Tom Shelby (Cillian Murphy).  Her character is tough, ruthless and very sexy and has played a big part in the show’s huge success – this is series three – rooted in its combination of sex (again), violence, brilliantly atmospheric and smokey sets and ferocious hair cuts.  The show’s title refers to the practice amongst the Birmingham mobsters of the day of hiding razors in the peaks of their caps which they then used as weapons.

Helen McCrory’s other credits are legion with a vast amount of work in film, on TV and on the stage.  She has won several shelves full of awards and has appeared as Medea at the National, in Sam Mendes’ productions of ‘Twelfth Night’ and ‘Uncle Vanya’, as Cherie Blair, and as Malfoy’s mum in ‘Harry Potter’.  She had never appeared in the circus however before this photoshoot.



Ferrari Magazine (TOFM) flew Pip and crew to Valencia to shoot the fashion story for their spring edition.  They were drawn there by the location, the dramatic Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia, a cultural centre opened in 2005, which gives the shoot its futuristic backdrop.

The styling,  including pieces from Ferrari’s own range, was by Jess Punter with hair and make up by Annabel McCrory.  The models were Alissandre Martines at Milk Management and David Pascual from Mad Models in Madrid.  The shoot was overseen and art directed by Official Ferrari Magazine creative director Warren Jackson and the all important car is a California T.






The Boston Globe asked Jay Brooks to picture comedian and Twitter lord Rob Delaney for their cover to coincide with the launch of the hilarious Catastrophe (series 2) in the USA.

Here are some things about Rob you may not know.

He was raised in Marblehead, Massachusetts.

In 2010, Paste magazine named him one of the ten funniest people on Twitter.

In May 2012, he became the first comedian to win the ‘Funniest Person on Twitter Award’ at The Comedy Awards hosted by Comedy Central.

His book Rob Delaney: Mother. Wife. Sister. Human. Warrior. Falcon. Yardstick. Turban. Cabbage. was published by Spiegel & Grau in November 2013.

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Scott Grummett once more provides the images for this month’s Esquire food column featuring Russell Norman making one of the finest Easter egg breakfasts. It’s simple, hearty and healthy… Asparagus, Poached eggs & Parmesan.

In the column Russell talks about the joys of asparagus, it’s seasonality and why this is the perfect time of year to start eating it, spring has sprung.

Saoirse Ronan and Elizabeth Saltzman by Rebecca Miller for The Hollywood Reporter

Saoirse Ronan by Rebecca Miller for The Hollywood Reporter

Saoirse Ronan and Elizabeth Saltzman by Rebecca Miller for The Hollywood Reporter

Rebecca Miller photographed Saoirse Ronan and her red carpet stylist Elizabeth Saltzman in London for The Hollywood Reporter.  It was part of the magazine’s annual round up of awards season fashion, about who wore what and who styled them and who made it to the THR list of ‘The 25 Most Powerful Stylists in Hollywood.’

Elizabeth was ranked this year at number 4 and has in the past dressed Gwyneth Paltrow and Uma Thuman.  She began working with Saoirse, who at 21 has already been nominated for two Oscars, this year and with great success but only after she had faced the challenge of Saoirse’s Irish name.

Saltzman: “My first time meeting Saoirse, I thought, ‘How am I going to say her name? What am I going to do? I’ll just call her ‘babe.’ ” (It’s pronounced “Ser-sha.”)

Ronan: “I’m glad you didn’t — I remember one time I was working with a photographer, and he kept calling me angel, and it really pissed me off.”

Elizabeth goes on to describe the high pressure process of getting the right dress for the Oscars. “We got a lot of pitches, but Francisco Costa just got it” says London-based Saltzman, a former Vanity Fair editor. Because of Ronan’s New York rehearsal schedule for The Crucible, the stylist conducted the fitting at midnight before the Oscars: “Saoirse put on the emerald, and the room stopped — her mom, her aunt, her hairstylist, Adir. … You felt the oooh,” recalls Saltzman. Adds Ronan of her carpet experience this past year: “Everything has felt like me but kind of pushing me out of my comfort zone.”

Rebecca photographed Elizabeth and Saoirse at The Soho Hotel in London and Saoirse’s dresses are by Tom Ford and Christopher Kane.


House and Garden by Katie Quinn Davies

House and Garden by Katie Quinn Davies

House and Garden commissioned Katie Quinn Davies to shoot Easter recipes in the KQD style for their April 2016 edition.  It all looks fabulous but under pressure we’d probably go for the hay baked lamb with mint and capers.

Photographs and Art Direction: Katie Quinn Davies

Recipes: Caroline Barty

Food Preparation and Styling: Lizzie Kamenetzky

Table Styling: Jo Harris

Hemsley and Hemsley

Hemsley and Hemsley

Hemsley and Hemsley

Jay Brooks was commissioned to photograph Melissa and Jasmine Hemsley, aka Hemsley and Hemsley, cooks, campaigners for healthy eating and sworn foes of gluten, refined sugar and all their demons.

They started Hemsley + Hemsley 6 years ago as a bespoke service aimed at helping people with their digestion and relationship with food. Since then, they’ve become authors of their international bestselling cookbook The Art of Eating Well and contributors to Vogue.co.uk and The Guardian. They also cook and consult for celebrities and cater for high-profile brands such as Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Vivienne Westwood.

The Hemsley’s approach to food is part of a whole philosophy of life. ‘Our approach to health and wellness is very holistic and inclusive we champion a philosophy which is simple, mindful and intuitive. We steer clear of the ‘quick-fix’ answers which are overly abundant in the health and wellness (and even fashion) industries by teaching a long term lifestyle change. Not only do we champion fats and animal foods but also emphasise the importance of good digestion – explaining everything from the virtues of chewing to the importance of probiotics. Eating well has to be accessible, so we constantly draw on our own experiences of cooking and eating in our busy city lives to make healthy eating approachable and refreshing. For us, food is the root to feeling well but we don’t limit our philosophy there as your lifestyle is vital too. As soon as you look at what you are eating the rest naturally follows – health takes into account mental, physical, emotional and spiritual. We’re big fans of yoga and meditation which we practice everyday. We have inspired many clients to take these up – once they feel and sleep better they look to all areas of their life in a new light.’

Jay shot Hemsley and Hemsley for You Magazine and their second book, Good + Simple, is released in the UK on February 25th.


Matthew Perry

Matthew Perry

For the second time in two months, Jay Brooks has photographed Matthew Perry.  This time it was for The Times, for its Saturday Magazine accompanying an interview with Matthew timed to coincide with the opening of his play ‘The End of Longing’ in the West End.

Matthew Perry is, of course best known for his role as Chandler Bing in‘Friends’, still the most successful TV sit com of all time with its huge audience figures and apparently eternal repeats.  120 episodes are aired each week in Britain alone.  His current project is more of a personal passion, he both wrote and stars in the play, he seems happy to be on a smaller stage and is philosophical about fame.

“I will never have the success I had when I was on Friends; that will never happen again. TV has changed so much that audiences will never be that big again. The Big Bang Theory is the number one sitcom; it gets half what Friends did.” He loves Alan Partridge, was a great fan of The Office and would “love to do something on British television. I am in a situation where I guess I don’t need to work, but I do need to work. I need to be doing something, but I am not interested in fame any more.”

Stanley Tucci

Jay Brooks photographed actor Stanley Tucci at the British Independent Film Awards as part of a project commissioned by the events organisers.  The image was used in the Evening Standard in connection with another event – The Evening Standard Film Awards – at which Mr Tucci will be presenting the award for the best comedy.

Stanley Tucci is probably best known for his starring role as Caesar Flickerman in the Hunger Games series and currently he can be seen in the conspiracy drama Spotlight.  He writes cookery books too!

ski special

ski special

ski special

ski special

ski special

Gavin Watson shot the Ski Special for the Style section in the January edition of Men’s Health which is in the shops now.

The story was styled by Eric Down, groomed by Oscar Alexander, modeled by Tyler @ AMCK and shot in the neo-alpine surroundings of Bodo’s Schloss, amidst the high peaks of London W8.

Jasper Conran

Vanity Fair asked Jay Brooks to photograph Jasper Conran in the technicolor glory of the re-vamped and re-launched Conran Shop.

For the last three years Jasper has been the Chairman and Chief Creative Director of The Conran Shops and has propelled the stores into the new century giving them back the energy and allure they had in their 1980’s heyday.  As he told Vanity Fair’s Alice B-B he enjoys his role, as he says, ‘I like the theatre of a shop.  Turns out I am a retailer!

Jasper Conran


The Boys are Back in Town and Gavin Watson shot the nu lad fashion story for Men’s Health styled by Eric Down.









We are delighted to announce that Katie Quinn Davies, the award winning photographer, author and food blogger, has joined Shoot.

Originally from Dublin, Katie has been living in Australia for the last few years working as a photographer specialising in food, travel and lifestyle.  Her acclaimed food blog ‘What Katie Ate’, for which she develops, cooks, styles and shoots every recipe, is hugely successful with over 250,000 followers worldwide.  In 2012 the first ‘What Katie Ate’ cookbook was published and became an immediate bestseller around the world.  And in 2013 Katie won the prestigious John Beard Awards for best photography and best general cookbook and published a follow up ‘What Katie Ate At The Weekend’.

As you can see her pictures are beautiful, with a rich textured style that has won her a lot of followers and plenty of clients including a major British supermarket that hired her to shoot their 2015 Christmas food campaign.  But more of that later..

See more of Katie’s work on the Shoot website here.




The painful but hilarious Peep Show returns to Channel4 for its ninth and final series this week, and to mark the fact Jay Brooks was asked to shoot its stars, Robert Webb and David Mitchell, for Shortlist magazine.

The idea for the feature was for the two actors to pick their favourite and funniest moments from the Peep Show archives but as soon as they slipped back into their roles as Croydon’s oddest couple they had a row.  Of course they did!

Anyway here are a few classic Peep Show moments

1.“Fancy dress? It’s like a joke for people with no sense of humour” (Mark, Series 7, episode 6).

2. “I suppose doing things you hate is the price you pay to avoid loneliness.” (Mark, Series 3, episode 2).

3. “A new boiler. Surely the least enjoyable way to spend £1,000. At least throwing the money out of the window you’d see the scrabbling mass, the hate-filled faces.” (Mark, Series 6, episode 2).

4. “If text kisses were real kisses then the world would be an orgy!” (Mark, Series 6, episode 6).

5. “Why do the people who want to talk about things always win?” (Jeremy, Series 3, episode 4).

6. “No, not the Hootenanny. Never the Hootenanny.” (Jeremy, Series 7 episode 6).

7. “[Politicians] should be more honest. You know, if they were more honest, then maybe people would vote and not switch straight over when the news comes on.” (Jeremy, Series 1, episode 4).

8. “Let’s face it, we’re all falling apart piece by piece. Doesn’t matter if you’re single or in a couple. You. Are. Going. To. Die.” (Mark, Series 1, episode 3).

9. “Socks before or after trousers, but never socks before pants, that’s the rule. Makes a man look scary, like a chicken.” (Mark, Series 1, episode 2).


10. “People like Coldplay and voted for the Nazis. You can’t trust people” (Super Hans, Series 3, episode 2).





Ray Burmiston shot national treasure and national choirmaster, Gareth Malone, for Sunday’s Event magazine.

The idea of the shoot was clearly to cast off Gareth’s twinkly choirboy image and to release his inner Ziggy Stardust.  To this end he was pictured in one of Camden Town’s sweatier rock venues and the cover of the magazine promises revelations of what he gets up to on tour. Apparently he drinks white wine and wears a onesie!

But the ever dapper Gareth really cuts it.  He looks super sharp in the pictures and the Les Paul really suits him.  We especially like the houndstooth check suit!

Gareth Malone’s current TV series The Naked Choir, a competition to find Britain’s best amateur acapella singers, is on Tuesday nights on BBC2


Scott Grummett shot Belvedere Vodka‘s resident mixologist, the eminent Liam Cotter, for Shortlist Magazines’s Bond Issue.  Liam has at Shortlist’s request invented a new take on James Bond’s classic tipple, the dry Martini.  The shoot took place in the appropriately paneled surroundings of Hawksmoor in Spitalfields.


60ml Belvedere Unfiltered, 10ml dry Dolin Vermouth, A dash of peach bitters, a dash of Ardbeg, Green Olive.

The Method

Combine the ingredients and shake, don’t stir.

Scott’s verdict: A great crisp martini with a wonderful whiff of smoke from the Ardbeg. A proper man martini, drink enough and you will think you’re James Bond, Just don’t take the Aston home.





Nigella – one of those rare beings who are so famous they only need one name – teamed up once more with Jay Brooks to shoot a feature on ‘her life through food’  for The Guardian Weekend.

Subtitled ‘I eat, therefore I am’, the feature is timed to coincide with the launch of Ms Lawson’s new book ‘Simply Nigella: Feel Good Food’.  It, the feature not the book, charts the development of Nigella’s tastes from the discovery of the avocado in the 1970’s to the rediscovery of the pomegranate in the present.  Nigella, the food and the feature in general all look fabulous but the star of the show has to be the 1980’s beige leather jacket!  See above.

Stylist (clothes and props): Mika Handley.

Home economists: Anna Jones and Emily Ezekiel.

Stylist (food props): Wei Tang.

Hair and makeup: Tricia Woolston using Sisley Skincare, Charlotte Tilbury and Redken. Assistant: Nadia Atinbas




Rebecca Miller shot the divine and delightful Ophelia Lovibond – Guardians of the Galaxy and W1A – for The Untitled Magazine’s mega Girl Power edition.

Styling was by Holly Ounstead from Frank, with make up by Justine Jenkins and hair Fabio Nogueira also from Frank.

The Untitled Magazines’s Girl Power edition is out now with added controversy (see the Mail Online side bar for details).


Strictly Come Dancing is back!  And Ray Burmiston reprised his role as Darcey Bussell’s favourite photographer (it’s true she tweeted) and shot the new images of the judges and contestants for the 2015 season.  This is the first of the new crop to be seen, the judges, Darcey with Len Goodman, Craig Revel Horwood, and Bruno Tonioli, but expect more, many more, soon.

Strictly starts on 25th September on BBC One.






Jay Brooks photographed the cover of The Guardian Weekend‘s preview of the Rugby World Cup which starts this Friday with the hosts, England, versus Fiji at Twickenham.

The cover feature wryly pitched the question ‘are rugby’s stars a bunch of softees’ to which the answer was a resounding no, in spite of the ironic choices of props and locations.  Jay’s pictures featured Jim Hamilton, the Scots Godzilla, England’s George Ford and Mako and Billy Vunipola having a nice picnic, the Samoan captain Kahn Fortuali’i showing his caring side and Welshman George North being very unfrivolous and businesslike.

Just in case you aren’t quite up to speed on Rugby or the World Cup here’s a quick guide from The Guardian:

What is it?

The tournament runs from 18 September-31 October, and will be played at 12 stadiums in England, including Twickenham, and one in Wales. There are 20 teams, from the giants of the game (New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, France, the home nations) to the minnows (Namibia, Georgia, Uruguay, the US).

Who’s playing who?

The top two teams from each of the four seeded pools go through to the quarter-finals. Then it’s a knockout. Pool A is the “pool of death”: Australia, England, Wales, Fiji and Uruguay. South Africa, New Zealand, Argentina, Ireland and France should qualify for the last eight.

Watch out for

New Zealand v Argentina (20 September)

England v Wales (26 September)

England v Australia (3 October)

South Africa v Scotland (3 October)

Australia v Wales (10 October)

France v Ireland (11 October)

Matches will be broadcast on ITV and S4C.

Key positions

Forwards: large men who wrestle for the ball in rucks, mauls and scrums.

Props: square men who hold the scrum together.

Hooker: the player in the scrum who nudges the ball backwards.

Scrum-half: annoying character who hangs about behind the scrum.

Fly-half: key playmaker who receives the ball from the scrum-half.

Backs: players who line up behind the forwards, waiting for the chance to run at the opposition.

Players to watch

Israel Folau, Australia’s free-scoring full-back.

Richie McCaw, All Blacks captain.

George North, mighty Welsh winger.

Bismarck du Plessis, South African hooker, named after a battleship and built like one.

Chris Robshaw, England captain.

Johnny Sexton, Ireland’s mercurial fly-half.

Words to drop into conversation

Conversion: the kick at goal you get if you score a try (worth two points; a try is five).

Gain-line: an imaginary line the players try to cross to gain territorial advantage.

Garryowen: a high kick towards the opposition tryline.

Sin bin: where players who commit bad fouls are sent for 10 minutes.

Spear tackle: a dangerous tackle, where a player picks up an opponent and plunges him head first into the turf (perpetrators will be banished completely).






Pip photographed hard working actor Joe Dempsie for GQ in the dramatically ‘Blade Runner’ wind tunnels at Farnborough.

We don’t usually see Joe looking this sharp, here styled by Dan Blake, as his recent roles have included Chris in the very dark Southcliffe and the luckless Gendry in Game of Thrones, and he is about to reappear as Higgy in Shane Meadows This Is England 90.