Passed/Failed: An education in the life of Judge Jules, DJ

'I did law - hence my daft name'

"Judge" Jules, aka Julius O'Riordan, is the Radio 1 DJ whose show goes out on Saturday evenings. His "Judgement Sundays" are held at the Eden club in Ibiza from 11 June until mid-September. Also entitled Judgement Sundays, his DJ mix compilation is released early in July.

At 11 I went to Highgate Wood School in north London, which had a delicate balance between enough middle-class kids for you to pursue an academic career, and quite rough kids so you didn't end up with a silver spoon in your mouth; you had a streetwise view of London. It worked for me. I'm tall - at least 6ft when I was 16 - and can look after myself, though I'm not a bruiser. If I hadn't come from a family that was quite academic, it might have been different.

My grandmother was one of the first women to go to Cambridge. My uncle (not Rick Stein, another one) is a senior professor at Oxford in physiology, which is their posh word for medicine. My mother, who died when I was 19, was a teacher; my father was a TV director when I was at school and then taught acting at Rada.

I did all right at most O-levels, getting nine at decent grades. History is the subject I was most interested in but not geography, because I fancied the girl who sat next to me and spent more of the time looking at her legs than learning about faultlines and spits.

My father was in the parent-teacher association and I think he fell out with the headmaster, who said, "Either you leave or I do." I was a bit disappointed because I was leaving my friends but went to a private school, University College School, in Hampstead. It was quite a culture shock. I went from being comfortably off compared to most people, to being without question the least well off; I wasn't made to feel this but I picked up on it when kids turned up on their 17th birthday with a brand-new car. I did have kudos from coming from a comprehensive.

Academically I did all right, which is a credit to Highgate Wood, and I did well enough at A-levels in English, history and economics to go to the LSE, a tough university to get into. The reason I enjoyed history is that I had a very enthusiastic teacher; you need to be a good storyteller.

I did law - hence my daft name: friends started calling me "Judge". I enjoyed contract law, largely because I knew I wanted to go into the music business, where it would be very useful: "Where there's a hit, there's a writ." I did an optional course on women and the law. I was one of two guys in a class of women, which was great. I must have been on something when I chose the course on the Russian and Yugoslavian legal system; I can't say it's proved very useful to me. I wasn't exactly a gold star student but I was able to bolt down information a month before my exams. People who probably got better degrees than me lent me their notes. I'm quite proud of getting a 2:2 - not a Third!

I was putting on illegal parties in derelict buildings. The police would inevitably turn up at 2 a.m. on a Saturday when they didn't have much manpower. With four policemen facing a thousand young people, all they needed was gentle persuasion from me that it was just a party for my law student chums. I only ended up in a cell once. It was a party in this huge, empty house in Holland Park Avenue, right next door to Richard Branson's. I'm totally absorbed in the DJ-ing; I've got my headphones on, mixing, totally in my own world - and the next thing I know, I look up and there are no dancers or partygoers, just 50 to a hundred riot police. They thought I was the promoter, not the £100-hired-for-one-night-only DJ. I got arrested and bundled into a van all on my own.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: HR and Payroll Manager

£35000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This dynamic outsourced contact...

Recruitment Genius: Production & Quality Control Assistant

£19000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An excellent opportunity for a ...

Ashdown Group: Group HR Advisor - Kettering - £32,000

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Group HR Advisor with an established...

Guru Careers: HR Manager / HR Generalist

£40 - 50k (DOE) + Bonus: Guru Careers: We are seeking a HR Manager / HR Genera...

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor