My Mentor: Toby Young on Julie Burchill
'The thing I admire most is that she's completely fearless'
Monday 10 October 2005
She was offered a Time Out column but wasn't that keen, so we worked out a deal where I would write the column, but she would put her name to it and we'd split the cash. As I started out literally impersonating her voice and passing myself off as her, to continue to write in that style seemed like the most natural thing to do.
She certainly taught me some extremely useful lessons. The thing I admire most about her journalism still is that she's completely fearless. I think that many journalists starting out imagine that if you antagonise anyone, particularly if they're rich and powerful, you're going to have a very short career. Julie demonstrated to me that actually the opposite is the case, that the more fearless, the more outspoken you are, the further you'll go.
In 1991 Julie and I and her husband Cosmo founded The Modern Review, produced out of my bedsit in Shepherd's Bush. We fell out in 1995 and I closed the magazine down without telling her. The catalyst was when she left Cosmo for Charlotte Raven and there was a kind of failed putsch in which Julie tried to overthrow me and install Charlotte in my place. We've been on quite friendly terms since 2001 and then met again this year.
Ultimately the reason we fell out is because our relationship began as a kind of mentor-apprentice, and that was a kind of relationship which Julie was comfortable with. It was only when I succeeded in getting out from under her shadow that our relationship deteriorated. She's more used to having acolytes than she is having friends she treats as equals.
The most valuable lesson that she taught me was that you don't have to be a careerist to have a career in journalism.
Russell Brand opposes anti-Semitism after death threats: 'We must disavow all forms of prejudice that lead to exclusion and execution'
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
James Foley 'beheaded': Isis video shows militant with British accent 'execute US journalist' – as hunt begins for killer
ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
Microbial life found living on the exterior of the International Space Station, say reports
- 1 Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC
- 2 Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
- 3 London restaurant 34 creates champagne glass modelled on Kate Moss’ left breast
- 4 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 5 James Foley beheading: Fox news presenter Megyn Kelly annoyed by Ferguson update during broadcast about murdered journalist
£18000 - £30000 per annum + uncapped: SThree: Do you feel you sales role is li...
£20000 - £45000 per annum + uncapped: SThree: Key featuresA highly motivated ...
£30000 - £35000 Per Annum + 25 days holiday and bonus: Clearwater People Solut...
Highly Competitive Salary + Commission: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL BASED - DEALING ...