John d Green photographed Diana McLeod on 18 October 1966 at his Kensington studios for Birds of Britain.
He remembers the shoot fondly: “Another fun session was Diana McLeod. We found out she was petrified of mice, so in Birds of Britain, one page shows a picture of a mouse, the next page is of Diana with her hair standing on end. To get this shot we hung her by her ankles, through a hatch in the ceiling of the studio. After I had shot about 6 or 7 frames, David Tree, our art director, who was holding her by the ankles, said “Help, she is slipping”. I dropped the Hassleblad, rushed under her and she collapsed into my arms and we ended up on the floor – we laughed like drains.”
Diana McLeod (now Heimann) comes from a family with a history steeped in politics; her father Ian Macleod was Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Edward Heath’s Cabinet and her mother Eve launched the charity Crisis and was a member of the House of Lords.
McLeod entered the world of fashion journalism in 1965 and was the youngest editor on Fleet Street. As well as a journalist, she has been a farmer, ran a retail business and a day nursery, and has been a district councillor. In the 2005 general election she was the UK Independence Party candidate for Banbury.
She lost her husband to pancreatic cancer in 2011 and has since been a tireless campaigner for the Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund.