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Radio One in Ibiza? – We seek direction from the Judge

This summer Radio One will celebrate their 10th year in Ibiza, though the festivities have been scaled back from the big boozy weekender of yore.

This summer Radio One will celebrate their 10th year in Ibiza, though the festivities have been scaled back from the big boozy weekender of yore. On Saturday August 13 there’ll be a full working day’s worth of airtime, starting at 7pm and going through till 3am the following morning. Pete Tong will hold four Essential Selections from Café Mambo on August 5, 12, 19 and 26.

But the opening spot on the main broadcast is reserved for Judge Jules, otherwise known as Julius O’Riordan. It’s recognition of his status as perhaps the most visible of the BBC’s dance jocks, who was also the progenitor of the current trend of stars acquiring lengthy White Isle residencies.

The bespectacled one is part of the club landscape in Ibiza. Quite literally in the form of the Judgement Sundays billboards dotted liberally around the countryside, and in addition his gig is a guaranteed floor-filler at Eden in San An.

It's an impressive feat given the competition – JS is up against Space’s flagship night, We Love. Jules though sees his night as complementary.

Judge Jules @ Eden“We’ve done market research of people in the queue so we know that we get an awful lot of people who’ve been to Space during the day,” he told us yesterday.

One can only imagine what condition those rave monkeys were in by the time they left Eden, but they’re likely to have come away more than satisfied. Jules has built a hugely successful career on giving people exactly what they want, thus gaining him a lifestyle the envy of all who aspire to impregnate a pop star (Amanda AKA Angelic), own a big house in Ibiza, and drive a Range Rover.

He also gave us what we were looking for when we rang for a quick chat, i.e. plenty of amusing quotes about stalkers, funding cuts at the BBC and starting feuds with Hollywood stars.

How’s it going? Where are you?

Jules O'Riordan: I’m just parking my car actually. I’m not parking it very well. This is my Spanish car. It’s still alien parking on the other side of the road. I’m just taking my son for one of those trampoline stroke mini dodgem car places.

Have you been really stitched up in an interview?

Yeah, Muzik magazine, now defunct, got me very drunk and basically put words in my mouth about fellow Radio One djs. Really they were saying ‘Well I think this about them, do you agree?’, then I sort of agreed in the most drunken sense, which of course might mean I actually said it myself.

tuff guy @ EdenEver appeared in the tabloids?

I have a couple of times. Somebody grabbed my girlfriend’s arse and I punched him in a club.

Which papers?

The Mirror, and the Sun. It’s one I’m not proud of but on the other hand I would probably do again. I think that’s probably the only case where I’ve had an entire half a page devoted to me. I was in the News of the World recently in their car section, they did a section on what people drive.

And what car do you drive?

It was mainly about the cars you’ve had since you were a kid, plus what you have now. I’ve got a Range Rover now, much more sedate and sensible than what I’d like but when you end up somewhere in the country you want to do it in some sort of regal style.

Why do you have so many pairs of wrap around sunglasses?

They’re actually fairly crappy sunglasses with the lenses removed and turned into prescription specs. It sounds very self-indulgent but it’s actually not as expensive as it would be if they were made by Armani. I’ve always been blind. I used to wear glasses then I got into contact lenses, but it’s actually quite uncomfortable wearing contact lenses when you’re in and out of clubs a lot because they shrink and they’re not good in smoky conditions. I just happened to buy a pair of cheap shades and I just thought ‘Let’s take the lenses out and see what happens?’ and it kind of became a self-fulfilling image prophesy if that makes sense.

www.leegarbett.comWas it weird when you saw fans doing the same thing?

It was. On the one hand its flattering, and on the other it’s slightly perturbing, there have been a couple of stalkers who have gone well beyond the imitation being the sincerest form of flattery. They were disturbing bunny boiler types, albeit male bunny boilers.

Any female ones?

I’ve had a couple of female stalkers but they haven’t dressed like me. That would be very worrying.

Have you ever worn anything stupid just to see if someone else would start wearing it too?

A lot of people would argue that a lot of what I wear is quite stupid. I read a thing in Mixmag deriding me for my fashion sense.

Well, what do they know.

They’ve just been bought by M8 apparently. I’ve heard it from very reliable sources. It’s actually happened.

I’ve read you answer every email personally. How many do you do a day?

There’s a minimum of forty and a maximum of 200. It really does take a lot of time. There are times when I kind of regret it, because they don’t come evenly, sod’s law will be that just when you’ve got the least amount of time you get the most emails. Or at a period like this when I’m spending a few days with my kids I’ll get loads but its an invaluable source of feedback, and it’s something no other dj does.

What do people write to you about?

Absolutely everything - dj advice, where, when are you playing, when’s this tune or that tune coming out. Occasionally it’s ‘I’ve just split up from my girlfriend, I’m feeling pretty down, what’s your advice?’ Agony Uncle I am definitely not, but I tend to answer to just about anything.

How important is to your marketing and career in general?

It’s incredibly important. It got 2.7 million visitors over the last twelve months, which is a hell of a lot. A lot of other djs websites have got more a lot of bells and whistles website with great graphics that never actually change. Whereas I actually changed mine back to be an HTML website, with less bells and whistles software, but you can just use it more quickly, and most importantly it changes really regularly.

I read this there recently:

“We set off for LAX at 9am en route to New York City on Friday 20th. The three hour + time difference and five-hour flight forced us to travel early, with far too little sleep. In the business lounge at LAX we sat next to British actress Minnie Driver, and overheard her having a very loud name-dropping phone conversation. It was like a scene from the movie “The Player”. She was shouting “Mel Gibson would be sooo right for that part” (yawn…) Minnie then sat two rows behind us on our flight to New York, and I realised she was looking at my laptop over my shoulder whilst queuing for the bathroom as I was writing this paragraph. I quickly scrolled down so she couldn’t read it!”

Do you know if she has read what you wrote or responded in any way?

I doubt it. It was amusing, she was being such a stereotypical name dropper.

Would you like to start a feud with her? We can help with that.

I’ve got nothing against her. I know she’s one of those turn up at the opening of an envelope types, but I’ve got no opinion positive or negative about her acting ability because I’ve never seen her in anything.

Do you get many big stars down Eden on a Sunday? Do you care?

I don’t care. There’ve been a few, more UK-based. Jay Kay from Jamiroquai, Vernon Kaye.

What gave you the idea to get the breaks djs in?

We like breaks a lot, my business partner Giles and I, and it’s not been represented at all in Ibiza. We first had the Stantons and the Plumps I think four summer ago and we’ve had them every summer since then. But it’s only really as breaks has grown that people have paid more attention to that fact.

Do you book all the djs yourself?

I might not make the telephone calls, but I’m certainly behind the decision-making process.

Who’s going to really kick arse this year at Judgement Sundays?

I honestly don’t think there’ll be anybody that doesn’t. I play 230, 250 gigs a year. I hear every single dj. We’re not able to book every single person we want, for example someone like Tiësto is resident for Cream and Morillo’s got his own night, and I would’ve asked them probably. But generally speaking we’ve able to pick from a pool of just about 98% of djs, and all of them we choose on the back of having heard them and being incredibly impressed by them.

How are things at Radio One? Does it feel like there’s been a shake up or is it business as usual?

The biggest shake up was the tail end of last summer when quite a few djs left and just about all the specialist line up changed. But I think it’s kind of settled back down. Listening figures have been good, particularly for dance shows. The three core dance shows - Tong’s, Dave Pearce’s and mine - have all done very well in the last round up.

What do you think of the proposed cuts in funding at the BBC? Will any of it affect you?

There might be less ancillary staff, but core production staff will remain the same. We’ve had it pretty much made clear to us that things shouldn’t change very much, particularly in terms of my show.

Is there anything else you wanted to say?

Just give a little plug for Kasbah, which has got one of the nicest sunset views, which is of course what has attracted a lot of people to Ibiza. We’re pretty much the only restaurant which does a sort of modern fusion cusine, which is unusual for here.

- 2005 will be season number six for Judgement Sundays at Eden, starting June 12 and finishing on September 18. Check our calendar for more details

- write to the Judge at Ibiza Spotlight sent him an email at 3:19pm on Tuesday May 31. He wrote back at 6:39pm on Friday June 3:

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