Motorcycle racing has been at the centre of Julian’s life since he first saw scrambling in black and white on the BBC’s Grandstand in the early 1960s. After graduating, he worked in the trade and technical press for six years before persuading someone to give him a job on a motorcycle magazine. That was in 1980 and from then on Julian has been a motorcycle journalist.
In the late 1980s he was running a magazine that majored on racing when he was invited in to Eurosport’s studios to see a motorcycle Grand Prix being broadcast. The regular commentator was stranded at another event so the producer gave Julian the microphone. From then on commentating was mixed with writing.
In the early 1990s Sky Sports started to broadcast the motorcycle GPs and handed control to producer Martin Turner, later to win satellite TV’s first BAFTA. Motorcycle racing benefitted from the full range of modern TV technology for the first time, and Julian commentated with Keith Huewen. When Sky dropped the GPs and went with World Superbike in 1993 the team stayed together and for the next seven years brought the golden era of world Superbike and Carl Fogarty’s championships to British bike fans.
When the BBC took over coverage of the World Superbike Championship in 2000, Julian moved back to Eurosport to commentate with Toby Moody on what was then still motorcycle Grand Prix. It was the same year that Valentino Rossi moved to the top class of racing, and Julian has commentated on all his races in what became the MotoGP class is 2002.
Although TV commentary became increasingly important in Julian’s work, his first love has always been writing. He wrote the first history of the World Superbike Championship in 1998; it’s now in its third edition. In 2004 he authored the first official MotoGP Season Review. The annual is in the shops only two weeks after the final GP of the year and well in time for the vital Christmas market. It has become an important record of the sport.
Away from books, Julian is the MotoGP correspondent of American website superbikeplanet.com and a columnist for the Japanese magazine Riders Club. His features appear in many motorcycle magazines worldwide.