Go to content

Main menu

Julian Isherwood's page

Julian Isherwood was born at the Creek Hospital in Lagos, Nigeria on April 26th, 1953 as the second child of Wanda Hilda Mary Isherwood (née Zarb) and Douglas Gilbert Isherwood, who at the time was seconded to the Nigeria Police Force.

After a happy few early years as an African baby, I was sent to Britain, as many of my contemporaries were, to a junior public school - Barrow Hills in Witley near Godalming - and into the hands of Josephite priests, where I remained for the rest of my school career. After four years at Barrow Hills, I progressed to St. Georges College in Weybridge, visiting my parents wherever they happened to be in the globe, during the holidays.

Sometimes, when HM Foreign & Commonwealth Office as it was then known, found it fit to allow my parents a more lengthy leave 'back home', the family lived in Thames Ditton in Surrey (Warwick Road and Embercourt Road) and later on in the Ewell Road and Brown's Road in Surbiton.

The family home is now at Fassett Road in Kingston.

In 1976, I moved to Denmark for the obvious reason - a Danish girl - a penchant that has remained with me since then - to put it diplomatically. Apart from a brief return to Britain in 1977, I have remained in Denmark ever since, and have fathered two glorious children - Anya and Adam. We chose the name Anya with a 'y' because if we'd spelled it with a 'j' as is normal in Danish, all you English speakers would have pronounced it wrong! Adam was pretty simple.

As those who know me well, will also know, I currently have two homes - one in Snekkersten in the north of the capital island of Zealand (or Sealand as some prefer to call it) and in Hornbæk, about 10 miles further north.

In 1976, I spent several months as an assistant at a kindergarden in Søborg to learn Danish, took a couple of months off to write some plays and from the end of 1976 until 1980, I took my journalist indentures at the Politiken newspaper in Copenhagen as a picture editor and writer. I was lucky to have been under the somewhat spirit-ual wings of one of Denmark's great journalists - Ove Martin. I say spirit-ual, because even his less than angelic wing feathers reeked of whisky. Given my abhorrence of authority, I had many a grievous turn with him, but he was truly a great teacher to whom I owe many thanks.

After passing through Ove Martin's meat grinder, I was lucky enough to be at the right place at the right time, and got a job on the national broadcaster Danmarks Radio, producing as one of two editors, a five-minute programme known as The News In English. I stayed with the programme until the year 2000, when DR wanted me and my two other colleagues to do twice the amount of work for half the salary and at both ends of a day. We all politely declined. In 2000, the programme was unfortunately moved to medium wave - which no-one in Denmark listens to - and eventually the highly popular News in English died its final death.

I won't bore you with details of my career - suffice it to say I have worked or do work for The Daily Telegraph, Auntie BBC, UPI, Time Magazine, Knight-Ridder, Globalnetfinancial, Politiken, NXP and a host of others.

I also produce a weekly half-hour programme on Denmark, the Nordic region and the EU called Copenhagen Calling. The programme has been running on the World Radio Network English language satellite channels every single Friday, Saturday and Sunday since 1996. I like to call it a public service programme that keeps my listeners up to date with what goes on in Denmark and the EU in particular. Public service also because no-one pays for it – except me. But then for a long time Denmark and Albania were the only countries in the European hemisphere who only broadcast internationally in their own languages. Now it’s only Denmark; even Albania has realised that only few people understand Albanian!

Back to content | Back to main menu