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
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: One of the world's leading suppliers and manuf...

Recruitment Genius: Multiple Apprentices Required

£6240 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Apprentices are required to join a privat...

Sauce Recruitment: HR Manager

£40000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: This is an exciting opportunity for a HR...

Ashdown Group: Interim HR Manager - 3 Month FTC - Henley-on-Thames

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A well-established organisation oper...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee