29 September 2023

Audiences were treated to a night to remember when we welcomed BBC Presenter, Julia Bradbury, to the School to discuss her new book, Walk Yourself Happy, as part of our Inspiring Talks Series in association with Linghams Booksellers.

Interviewed by her friend of 27 years and fellow BBC Presenter and Journalist, Louise Minchin, Julia spoke candidly about her passion for walking and the outdoors following her cancer diagnosis back in 2021.


She began the evening discussing her early career which saw her launch three television channels and present numerous significant long-term series including Watchdog, Top Gear and Countryfile. Outside her television life Julia is an ambassador for Keep Britain Tidy, The National Trust and a champion for Ordnance Survey. She also co-founded The Outdoor Guide, which is an online resource and space for outdoor inspiration.


Julia was relaxed and fabulously funny making light work of keeping us all entertained and amused with her personable manner which was endearing. She spoke of the importance of being outside when considering our physical and mental health discussing how, as humans, we have an innate drive to connect to nature - the Biophilia hypothesis. She told us as little as 120 minutes a week outside is enough to improve mental health according to a recent study by the University of Exeter.

“Walking and being outside has a profound impact on us. It helps us process our thoughts and alleviate anxiety.”


Louise asked Julia to discuss some of the lifestyle changes she’d made following her diagnosis to which she explained she’d given up sugar and alcohol. She now considers the food which goes into her body asking “Will this add to my health?” She did say the occasional piece of cake at a birthday party was still something she indulged in as, after all, it was a treat which she savored!

After the talk, Julia kindly answered some questions from the audience such as what she ate for breakfast (steamed veg!) and how long it took her to return to her pre-surgery fitness (2 ½ years). She then discussed Louise’s book, Fearless, which details the amazing feats of women before getting the whole audience up on their feet for a “Nitric Oxide Dump” which got our blood pumping and bodies moving which she said was extremely important.


We finished the evening with a book signing where Julia took the time to speak, and take photos, with all of the audience members. We’d like to thank Julia and Louise for a wonderful and inspiring evening.

Julia is the latest speaker in Birkenhead School’s Inspiring Talks Series. The School also recently welcomed children’s author, Anna James, author of the Bookwander series, who spoke to Prep pupils. On Monday 9th October, the School will be welcoming actor, Richard Armitage, to talk about his new fiction novel, Geneva. To find out more or to book tickets for this event, please visit > https://bit.ly/3E4Um9e