Jules Hudson is known to millions through his BBC daytime TV programme ‘Escape to the Country’, but what you might not know is that throughout his life he had had strong ties to the military.
The television host credits the British Army with giving him the confidence to believe that with the right training and support he could achieve almost anything.
After leaving the Armed Forces, Jules was left with a mantra for life:
'Lead, follow, or get out of the way.'
It was famously said by General George S. Patton one of Jules' all-time military heroes.
The TV presenter said:
"I think that’s a mantra that has helped me judge what to do with my life ever since."
The Colchester-born presenter joined the British Army after studying Archaeology at University.
Enrolling at The Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, aged 23 in 1993, his sights were set on joining the 3rd Royal Tank Regiment, part of the Royal Armoured Corps - otherwise known to many as the ‘Armoured Farmers.’
His time in Sandhurst coincided with a Strategic Defence & Security Review, and due to shake-ups in defence, he was then due to join The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards.
After a lot of soul searching, Jules said he decided not to pursue an Army career but instead to work in Archaeology.
Jules took a master's degree in Archaeology at Durham University and, following some time teaching the subject, his head was turned to the world of media by a friend.
It was at that moment he realised that if he was to get into the media, he needed to go to London.
“It was that Dick Wittington moment.”
In his first TV job – a series about dinosaurs – his role behind the scenes in production saw him relying on his military background. Despite a short time in the Army, he credits the service with giving him a strong sense of confidence and pushing him to the limits of his abilities.
“[I was] organised, I could pick the phone up, I was confident, I could talk to people.”
Over the last decade, Jules has established himself as a natural and versatile writer and presenter. Thanks to his interests in country life, archaeology, architecture and both social and military history, he’s hosted a number of memorable TV series for the BBC, ITV and the History Channel.
Famous for fronting the BBC’s TV show ‘Escape to the Country’, Jules and his fellow presenters help prospective buyers find their dream home in the British countryside. The series is a daytime favourite, having been on our screens for almost 20 years. He credits Britons’ sense of inquisitiveness to its success.
“We’re all voyeurs at heart. I think we love looking around other peoples’ houses.”
After 10 years in TV, his career has come full circle, as he was commissioned into the British Army as Reservist with the Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers.
He is now assigned to 77 Brigade – a combined Regular and Reserve unit – who are the Army’s hub of Information Activity and Outreach.
Jules has since worked on Op Cabrit in Estonia.
Outside of work, his strong bonds with the military continue, as an Ambassador for the Gurkha Welfare Trust.