Julie Burchill
b 2 July 1959, Bristol; joins NME as a "hip young gun-slinger" in 1976; worked for most of the major English press including the Spectator , Daily Mail, Sunday Times, and the Express (who unwisely sacked her); married fellow hip young gun-slinger (former BBC Late Review regular and now  novelist) Tony Parsons and had one son, Bobby; married another journo, Cosmo Landesman , and had another son, Jack; now third-time luckily married to Daniel Raven, brother to her former amoureuse Charlotte.

Founding Editor of The Modern Review, with Toby Young; wrote various books such as the 1980s-defining blockbuster novel ' Ambition', also 'No Exit' and the autobiography 'I knew I was Right'. Her latest novel is the teenage lesbian romance, Sugar Rush. Between 1998 and 2003 Julie wrote a sparkling must-read weekly column in the Guardian and from 2004 began a new spell at The Times. She also made a much talked-about rarely seen documentary on the CHAV phenomenon.

Formerly the queen of the Groucho club and once possibly the only existant tubby lipstick'd feminist communist. Now sedate, suburban and a lissom size 14, she lives a "lotus-eating shopping-and-fucking, self-starting life" as a Lutheran wannabe chav 'n' jew in Brighton (although her heart is currently in Tel Aviv). Always surprising and wickedly witty she still manages to be charming, down-to-earth, happy and bright.
In early 2006, Julie announced that she was taking a sabbatical from her Times column to study GOD . She also took a half-share in a TV company (Dumbass Inc) with her friend ex-Daily Mailer Sara Lawrence  to come up with ideas for reality TV shows.
In June 2007 she announced that she was quitting journalism for good, although she would continue to write in other forms. She has produced a book with her husband Daniel, Made in Brighton (April 2007) and completed the follow up to Sugar Rush, titled Sweet (October 2007). She swears the future is "collaborations" - and she has written a play for the BBC, and co-authored a book about hypocrisy (due November 2007).
Julie has been so busy in fact that she has yet to find time to study theology, but she has been doing voluntary work at a centre for the mentally handicapped, and also works with the charity Age Concern. Occasional articles still emerge in the national press from time to time.
"I don't ever plan to go back to journalism. 30 years from the age of 17 without a break is way enough - for me and for my public."
We'll see.
Read the Independent interview (16 Oct 2007) on how Julie met her friend Sara Lawrence and a 5 minute interview here.
Sugar Rush, the Channel 4 drama about two teenage girls based on the novel by Julie Burchill, was named as the best programme at the 34th International Emmy awards on Nov 20th 2006.
Sugar Rush also won the gay rights organisation Stonewall's broadcast of the year award 2006

go Sugar Rush website  

Not the Channel 4 official website but a funky fruity real one, where you can chat with other fans and gorge yourself on what - surprisingly - has in its second series become a bit of a cult delight. You can find episode reviews, character summaries, and other news on the TV series.

The email exchanges with India Knight

India Knight with baby We have, in the likes of Miss Burchill and Miss Knight, a pair of women who can dish it out and take it with equanimity.  This was one of the Observer newspaper's spats of the year (2006) but then that's really a very easy prize for Julie to take.


goThe Times columns 2004-2005 and other titbits  

"Apparently women now spend more than £670 million a year on treatments to combat “stress”. Frankly, I don’t think it’s anything to do with stress at all, because if it was, the women going in for it would be nurses and teachers rather than ladies-who-lunch." (Paying To Be Pampered, 31 Dec 2005)

Some of the occasional pieces from the Haaretz newspaper in Israel are also available here, including the more recent pieces supporting Israel in its fight for survival.


go "The novelist I would least like to see naked is Tony Parsons" (Julie Burchill on her ex, after getting the most votes in an internet poll on novelists the public would like to see naked)


goBook reviews from the Spectator 2000-2004  

"From the time I was a little girl, long before I knew I wanted to be a writer, I had three ambitions which I felt that I must achieve in order fully to realise my potential as an adult. And they were: to take drugs, to sleep with Jews and to be notorious. In short, I wanted to be a bohemian, even though I had never heard the word.

"Well, I certainly did what I set out to do, but by the age of 35 the idea of the bohemian life held a beat too long fair turned my stomach, and I embraced Hove, the Church of England and strict monogamy - surely the terminal trio of anti-bohoism - with a fervour which I retain today; for while to be a young bohemian is both soulful and sexy, to be an old bohemian is very sad indeed."

(12th Oct 2002)



And long may she rain bile over us   go

Ben Granger of Spike magazine met Hurricane Julie and survived to tell the tale....   "...when I sit with a middle-class person going on in some kind of prejudice, I just wanna kill the fucker!"

and there's a review of Sugar Rush too....


"I can see that Napier-Bell subscribes to the same philosophy of life as I do, namely, 'If you can't say anything good about someone, come and sit right down here by me!' " (the Spectator, 21st April 2001)


goYou think I'm mad, don't you?

Sathnam Sanghera interviews Julie for the Bangladesh Financial Express (??!!)  

"There are certain questions that keep cropping up when you mention you have just interviewed Julie Burchill, Britain's most notorious journalist: (a) was she fat? (b) was she off her face on booze/drugs? (c) did she sound ridiculous? (d) was she terrifying? and (e) is she serious?"


Sugar Rush   go

Julie's latest novel - a teenage lesbian romance set in Brighton and written in ten afternoons - was published by Picador in 2004 to mixed reviews , although subsequently it was nominated for the Booktrust Teenage book prize. Channel 4 were quick to snap up the rights, and turned the novel into a TV series , shown on British television in June 2005, and now into its second series.


floJulie's favourite TV show in June 2005 was America's Next Top Model because "everyone's really good-looking and they cry all the time" (Metro 8th June 2005)



goJulie's Top Ten books for teens

As published in the Guardian - you can read the list here



goJulie and Israel

2004 was the year Julie went to Israel for the first time. Controversial as ever, her claim to be a righteous gentile and her unquestioning support for Israel in the face of what often seems like universal condemnation, generated immense gratitude from jews and pro-Israelis worldwide. Not bad for a travel correspondent on holiday. Since then, Julie has since become a strong supporter of Israel.

Read some of the articles here: Small country, big impression.


gofrom the Socialist Worker, 5th June 2004

"Julie Burchill can be a right wing scumbag, but on the subject of asbestos deaths she can be very good." (on the TV documentary What killed my dad?)



goTwo expeditions and one short conclusion

Julie's new novel, Sugar Rush, presented an opportunity for some short expeditions into medialand. Somewhat surprisingly, the Daily Telegraph paid attention. See the results here


goJulie Burchill is Away

Julie Burchill was the subject of a one woman play written by Tim Fountain and starring Jackie Clune , which first played at the Soho Theatre in London from 6 June to 13 July 2002. The play was repeated in the Edinburgh Festival 2004 , at the Assembly Rooms from 6 August to 30 August, and then came to the Brighton Pavillion Theatre for a hometown residency from 9th to 23rd October 2004 .


the Julie Burchill random recycler
- a random dose of Burchellism from the cutting edge of Artificial Intelligence.
Unlikely to make any sense whatsoever but great fun.
NOT BY ME - © http://homepage.ntlworld.com/l_tabraham/

goJulie's favourite song

In January 2003, following Nick Hornby's publication of a set of essays on the 31 songs that changed his life, the Observer newspaper asked 31 celebrities for the one song that moves them the most. Julie Burchill chose Free by Ultra Nate, which has the ability to make her cry, even when used in an ice cream commercial!

goThe Guardian columns 1998-2003
" All the surveys on happiness back me up on this one: happy people believe in God and have all the fun they can handle. The worst thing you can be, apparently, is a sober atheist, and there are so many of them around. "

goJulie's summer battle with cocaine journalism

"This is a story of modern media folk, of London clubs and country retreats, of children and books and avoirdupois and folie de grandeur, of love and abandonment, druggy excess and female rivalry. And at its heart is the eternal question of how one should conduct one's life. " (John Walsh, The Independent, June 2000)
"I don't regret my years as a cokehead, and, in fact, look back on them with affection." (JB)


goJulie selects her favourite films

Doomed Youth, Games and Blondes

goJulie Burchill Speaks Out Shock !
"To nearly anyone who has held a British newspaper at any time over the last 15 years, the feeling of being irritated or even shocked by Julie Burchill will be familiar."

goKiss and Yell - in The Latest, on Brighton
"To people not resident in our fair town this might have seemed a bit of a non-sequitur but it made me laugh out loud. It's pretty hard not to have sex in Brighton; everyone seems young, or foreign, or tall. Men in Brighton seem to go straight from being young to being old, which I like."

goThe 1993 Fax War with Camille Paglia
"I'm not nice. I'm not as loud as you, but if push comes to shove I'm nastier. I'm ten years younger, two stone heavier, and I haven't had my nuts taken off by academia. Are you SO insecure that you can't get one critical review without throwing a temper tantrum ?"

go definition:- " Atrocitainment " A term coined by the British newspaper columnist Julie Burchill for television dramas that feature traumatic subjects such as murder, rape, incest and child abuse as entertainment.


The Guardian OnLine Q & A session with Julie
"I think the majority of people are totally indifferent to me, which doesn't bother me at all. I have never craved the approval of strangers, or anyone come to that. "

go "All I ever wanted from life was love and money, and from a very early age I realised that fame (even of the mildest type) would provide the most pleasurable and profitable short cut to both." - JULIE BURCHILL, The Face, 1989

goIs Julie Burchill the world's worst mother ?
"Readers are invited to come and spit at me. I will, of course, welcome the attention. "

Sources     Bibliography     JoneMail this website            

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