It’s probably fair to say that the name of television presenter Julia Hardy isn’t as widely recognised as it deserves to be. Certainly, she is something of a celebrity within the sphere in which she mostly focuses her work. But she isn’t what you’d call a ‘household name’ – although based on her intensely successful career so far, it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if that changed pretty soon.
When you take a look at Julia’s CV, along with her impressive list of achievements, it’s all the more inspiring to see that she has done all this before the age of thirty. So let’s dig deeper to discover more about Julia Hardy and perhaps give her the recognition and respect she deserves,
An early start…
Julia was born in 1980 in Harrow, London, and by 2005 she had already begun to make her mark on the world. Her age is actually misprinted on many online sources stating 1992 but as one of her not so recent tweets about the subject states she was actually born in 1980. She was joking to people she was actually 57 in the 2018 tweet here after fans were querying her age. Information about her earlier life before this time, however, isn’t readily available or apparent. It isn’t that Julia is particularly secretive or protective of this information – indeed, she is refreshingly open about personal issues that have affected her (more of which later) and her interviews and social media activity indicate this. The lack of details about her early childhood seems to be down to a genuine belief on her part that it simply isn’t relevant.
At the very young age of 13, having already gained experience in hospital radio, Julia secured a role as presenter on a British TV channel called Rockworld TV. As a founding presenter, she co-hosted a show named Rockjaw, which focused on the more ‘underground’ elements of rock music. Sometime after this, she headed out of the studio to report from live events and festivals around the world.
Three years later she moved to an American channel called Current TV, to host The Countdown, and then to Ginx TV in 2009 where she presented the shows GameFace and Ginx Files. The latter show was later replaced with The Blurb, which Julia presented in 2011.
And during 2009 she also launched her own online TV show called AE:On. It’s important to keep in mind that Julia was still only 17 at this point, and had written, scripted, and even produced some of these shows.
From TV to radio
Julia made the jump from television to online radio between 2010 and 2015, heading to London-based TotalRock. Her talent was recognised by none other than the BBC, and her career took an upward turn in 2016 when she started presenting a monthly show on BBC Radio1 all about gaming, as well as contributing to other programs. She has even filled in for other DJs, which goes to illustrate the level of trust and respect she has already built within the organisation. The monthly gaming show is still running, and Julia also compiles visual content for the BBC iPlayer.
Slaying the trolls
Julia Hardy’s chosen interests were (and still are) gaming, music, Esports and new technology, and these are all areas in which she has excelled in her career so far. With the possible exception of the music world, these subjects often appear dominated by men, often rife with toxic content and ‘inappropriate’ comments towards women. Online gaming, in particular, is notorious for its history of negative attitudes and abuse aimed at women in the gaming community. Julia has never shied away from this topic, tackling it head-on, and achieving huge acclaim for doing so. In 2016, she was invited to Canada to give a talk at a TEDx conference about sexism, misogyny and online trolls, based on her Tumblr blog, Misogyny Monday. This blog dealt with the issue bluntly and with a touch of humour, earning her a great deal of praise for her bravery and honesty.
Although she often feels tired of having to wave a flag for women, and having to explain her interest in gaming, she is regarded as a pioneer in the gaming industry, fearlessly pushing for more diversity, especially with regards to gender and race.
The trials of life
As stated earlier, Julia is upfront about the problems she has faced in her personal life. Mental health is a big issue these days, and more people are opening up to the fact that it is good to acknowledge and seek help, it rather than to suffer in silence. But this message still hasn’t reached everyone, so Julia has been very open about her own long struggle with depression in the hope that it will encourage others to get the help and advice they need. She has also shared candidly about her mother’s fight with Alzheimer’s, as well as her father’s ongoing battle with cancer in a series of vlogs. These issues have obviously had a tremendous impact on her. But nothing ever seems to slow her career down or stop her from launching into new projects.
Aside from the numerous roles she performs, Julia Hardy also sets aside time to pursue other activities and interests. Human Rights is one of these interests, and she went as far as living in a Burmese refugee camp for an entire year. She also gave up alcohol for a year in support of Amnesty International.
A trusted name
Julia Hardy is a naturally gifted presenter and one who is ideally suited to these times. Her age sets her in the position of being able to relate to today’s youth and engage with them using their own language, while her early start has furnished her with a wealth of knowledge and experience.
This is recognised by many different companies and agencies. Here’s a list of just a few of the big names – aside from those already mentioned – that have employed her, either using her skills to give advice or offering her roles as presenter or host:
- Virgin Media
- The Guardian
- The Mirror
- Sunday Telegraph
- Channel 5
- Warner Bros
- Big Cheese
- Sony Interactive Entertainment UK
All of these names have huge respect for her opinions and advice.
The Youtube age
Being a dedicated ‘techy’, Julia embraces all things modern, including Youtube. Her channel, itsjuliahardy. has around 18,000 subscribers who regularly watch her videos on gaming, ‘simple life advice’, and the health struggles faced by her parents. Some of the videos are less serious; Julia is a self-confessed snack-addict. She films herself eating a variety of weird and bizarre snacks from around the world (I’ll Eat Any Crap). Other playlists include footage of her seeking out, playing and reviewing some of the strange games out there (I’ll Play Any Crap) – and there are some very strange ones on offer!
More recently, she embarked on a fitness drive, partly to boost her mental health during the lockdown period. The idea was to film herself performing a range of physical exercises that people – and gamers in particular – could follow. She called the series ‘Game To Train‘, hosting them live and then posting the recorded version on Youtube. Her passion for gaming was infused into each session, as each one bore a title that had a ‘gaming’ theme, usually to do with boss battles or adventures (video below).
Since joining Youtube in 2010, her channel has received more than two million views.
What of the future?
It’s clear that whatever the future has in store for Julia Hardy, it will involve gaming, music and new tech. From her early days as a teen hosting TV programs, she has never avoided a challenge and has learned to thrive in the world of ‘live broadcasts’. What comes across each time you see or hear her on TV, radio or online is that she is absolutely genuine. And that is probably the secret of her success. There’s no pretence or affectation. She is the essence of the old saying, ‘what you see is what you get’. She appeals to all ages without being patronising or fake. Success has not made her cynical or jaded in any way, and she still comes across as a ‘normal’ human being. And she still feels the thrill and fear of live broadcasts.
You could say that someone with 46,000 followers on Twitter is pretty successful. And you’d be right, of course. But many ‘influencers’ out there have vastly more followers and have done little to deserve it. Julia, on the other hand, deserves all credit for her successes so far and has worked hard to earn them. Let it be noted that Julia Hardy`s Instagram is very active too.
With such a solid foundation to build on, along with the implicit trust of so many major players in the media/gaming/entertainment industries, Julia Hardy surely has many options open to her. What we can say with certainty is that whichever direction she takes she will go on to new heights and continue to blaze a trail for other women within her chosen field.
Finally, Julia serves as an inspiration, not only encouraging more women to seek roles in the gaming industry (to whom she says “Just go for it!”) but to everyone with a dream.