ALAN RUDDOCK: Alan Ruddock went to Dublin from his home in County Carlow to interview Michael O'Leary for MT's cover story. 'You cannot deny his genius,' he says. 'He's more manically committed to success than any chief exec I've met on these islands. It's easy to see why traditional airline bosses can't stand him - he's loud, brash and he makes millions while they lose them.' Ruddock, former editor of the Scotsman, writes for the Irish Sunday Independent and the Observer.
ANDREW PIERCE: In this month's MT, Andrew Pierce, assistant editor of The Times, analyses the crumbling finances of the UK's three main political parties. He concludes that if they were Plcs, their shareholders would be up in arms. Pierce has worked for The Times for 14 years (apart from 'a brief and disastrous' stint on the Daily Express) and exposed the octogenarian Bexleyheath spy Melita Norwood in 2000. A self-confessed 'media tart', Pierce also 'loves drinking and behaving badly - like all hacks'. CHRIS BLACKHURST: Chris Blackhurst serves a double helping for MT this month: a rare profile of Marks & Spencer's chief executive Roger Holmes, and a feature on the intense rivalry between Bloomberg and Reuters. Blackhurst, as City editor of London's Evening Standard, is well placed to comment on this battle for global domination of the financial information market. An MT regular, Blackhurst is former deputy editor of the Independent, the Independent on Sunday and the Daily Express.
DAVID RUFFLES: Freelance photographer David Ruffles' brief encounter with Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary was one of his tougher assignments: 'I just blasted away for 90 seconds before he said: 'Right, that's it!' and ran off down the corridor. He was great but he knows what he wants.' Ruffles looked for the quirky side of life at Ryanair's Dublin HQ, eventually focusing his lens on O'Leary's empty pigeonhole. 'He eyeballed me while I was photographing it, then slowly walked away,' reveals a slightly perturbed Ruffles.
MARIA GRACHVOGEL: Fashion designer Maria Grachvogel inspects The House of Klein for MT's book pages this month - Lisa Marsh's account of the rise of Calvin Klein's clothing, accessories and perfume empire. 'I quite like reading about other people's businesses and how they did it,' says Grachvogel, whose launched her own label at 15, passed a London Stock Exchange exam at 17 and opened her London flagship store by the time she was 32.
NICKY CLARKE: Celebrity hairdresser and co-founder of a multi-million pound hair business, Nicky Clarke adds a touch of glamour to MT's Brain Food pages this month. The man with the golden scissors divulges his favourite hotels for Room Service, admitting to a weakness for New York's Fifth Avenue and a love of the exclusive spa resort LeSport in St Lucia. He once claimed to have the best job in the world - not so hard to believe, considering his client list includes Liz Hurley and Joanna Lumley.