Fact File


Date of Birth 2nd February 1976
Place of Birth Stockport, Cheshire
Club City of Manchester Aquatics
Coach Paul Remmonds
Height 5′ 11″
Weight 76 kg
Favourite Food Pasta
Most Treasured Possession My Car
Nickname “Dolphin Boy”
Hobbies Movies, Writing to Friends, Eating !
Bad Habits Biting my nails
Last Book you Read ? “Stupid White Men” by Michael Moore


When did you start swimming and what was the first club you swam for?
I started swimming when I was 6 years old and my first club was Stockport Metro S.C.

When did you first to swim for England/Great Britain?
When I was 15, I was on the GB team for the European Junior Championships

How do you prepare yourself for a big race?
I go through the race in my mind lots of times before it.

What goes through your mind when you are standing on the blocks before a big race?
Before hand I give myself a few “key words” to think about like-streamlining.

Does one race stand out from all the rest in your mind?
Winning the 200m butterfly final at the European juniors in 1993. It was my first international title.

Whose swimming talents do you most admire?
Alexander Popov- Russia

What’s your favourite part of training?
I like training whenever I’m swimming fast!

Do you have any tips for young aspiring swimmers?
What ever you are going to do, do it really well, if you’re not going to do it well then don’t do it at all.

If you could compete in any other sport in the world at a top level, which would it be?
Basketball in America because it’s fast and I enjoy fast sports. There’s also loads of money in it.

What is your most embarrassing sporting moment?
Getting disqualified for a false start in the final of the 100m butterfly in the 1998 Commonwealth Games.

Do you have any superstitions?


Who makes you laugh?
Billy Connolly (and my accountant !!)

What was your favourite children’s TV programme?
Going Live / Live and Kicking

If you could sing a duet with a pop star/group who would it be with?
Robbie Williams.

School & Work

Did you enjoy your school days?
Yes, I had lots of fun with all my friends.

What was your favourite subject at school?

Did anyone famous attend your school?
Yes, the footballer Andy Hintchcliffe.

Did sport interfere with your schoolwork?
Swimming meant that I didn’t devote as much time to my schoolwork as I could have but I still got good enough grades to go to University.

What’s the worst job you have ever had?
I’ve never had one other than swimming.

Fame & Fortune

Who is the most famous person you have ever met or would most like to meet?
I went to Buckingham Palace to meet The Queen which was fantastic. I would most like to meet Billy Connolly.

Do you receive much fan mail?
I get some and I always try to reply as soon as I can.

Are any of your friends big sporting celebrities from other sports?
I’m friends with lots of other athletes I met at the Olympics.

Do you remember the first autograph you ever signed?
Yes and I felt really silly signing it but I enjoy it now.

View James appearance on Shack Series.

The Future

What ambitions do you have left?

Do you ever worry about life after sport?
I think about it sometimes but I don’t worry about it. In fact, I’m looking forward to retirement!

When was the last time you wished you’d never got up?
The last time I got up at 6.00am to go to morning training!