A born and bred Yorkshire lad, James grew up on a farm, but it was working with his father, who was the Catering Manager at Castle Howard, where his passion for cooking was nurtured. A star pupil at college, he initially toured France working in various chateaux, and once he was back in the UK, he became a respected chef, and was head hunted for the Head Chef job at the Hotel du Vin and Bistro in Winchester.

His television career began in 1996 and became a household name taking part in the popular programme"Ready, Steady, Cook", and is now the host of the mainstay of Saturday morning scheduling "Saturday Kitchen", as well as various series of programmes of his own including specialist shows on deserts and Christmas cooking.

James was partnered with Camilla Dallerup in series three of Strictly Come Dancing. His competitive side was brought to the fore from the beginning, and had his own challenge to try and beat fellow Yorkshireman Darren Gough each week. Despite having to hold down his day job as a chef, he committed a huge amount of hours to training each week, and the pair formed a strong relationship, but despite his dedication, James struggled to meet the high technical standards set by other competitors. His best performance came in the semi-final of week nine, when their Foxtrot routine earned them 33 points from the judges, but also saw them struggle with the Rumba that week scoring only 22 points, and they ended bottom of the leaderboard, and even the public vote couldn't save them to make it through to the final, and finished fourth out of twelve couples. Returning for the 2005 Christmas Special, James & Camilla danced another beautiful Foxtrot, and the judges gave them two 10's and a total score of 37 points.


Strictly Come Dancing

Week Dance Song Judges scores Total
1 Cha Cha Cha Something Got Me Started 4 5 6 7 22
2 Quickstep Luck Be A Lady 6 7 8 8 29
3 Tango Mein Herr 6 7 8 7 28
4 Paso doble Montagues and Capulets 7 8 7 7 29
5 Viennese Waltz Mr Bojangles 5 8 8 8 29
6 Jive Why Do Fools Fall In Love 5 4 6 5 20
7 Waltz Together Again 7 8 9 8 32
8 Samba All Night Long 4 5 6 5 20
8 American Smooth Call Me Irresponsible 7 7 7 7 28
9 Foxtrot Beyond The Sea 8 8 9 8 33
9 Rumba Home 4 6 7 5 22
Christmas 2005 Foxtrot Santa Baby 8 10 10 9 37