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
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
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 Manager

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are in need of a HR Manage...

h2 Recruit Ltd: Business Development Manager - HR Consultancy - £65,000 OTE

£35000 - £40000 per annum + £65,000 OTE: h2 Recruit Ltd: London, Birmingham, M...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas