Duncan Matthew James Inglis (born 7 April 1978) is an English singer, actor and television presenter. He is best known as a member of the boyband Blue.
James grew up an only child in Devon and was raised primarily by his mother and grandparents after his father abandoned his mother before he was born. He was raised a “strict Catholic”and educated at Dumpton School (where his grandfather worked as a music teacher), the Milldown School in Blandford Forum and Corfe Hills School in Corfe Mullen and Sidmouth College in East Devon. At 15, he played Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. He also played Dr Watson in Sherlock Holmes for Sidmouth Youth Theatre. James also worked for Haven Holidays as a Havenmate on the Isle Of Wight and at West Bay in Dorset.
In October 2004, James collaborated with Keedie to release the single “I Believe My Heart”, which entered the UK singles chart at Number 2. He returned to the solo music scene in May 2006 with his single “Sooner or Later”, releasing the video in early May and planning to release the single commercially on 5 June 2006. The video reached Number 2 on The Box and Number 5 on The Hits. However, the single was no commercial success and entered the British charts at Number 35, before slipping down to Number 72 in its second week. “Can’t Stop a River” was James’s next single. Released on 21 August 2006, the track could only reach Number 59 in the UKRe, and Number 97 in Ireland. In continental Europe, where “Can’t Stop a River” was released the day prior to the UK, it similarly proved unpopular, dropping out of the singles charts in many countries such as France, Turkey, Germany, and Belgium. James’ album also fell short, selling less than 1,000 copies in the UK in its first week (and failing to reach the Top 50). The album sold a total of 412,350 copies around the world. Although his debut album did not do as well as hoped (with the exception of Italy, where the album reached Number 2 on the chart and has been certified platinum for shipments of 80,000 copies), on 2 February 2007, music channel B4 premièred the video for “Amazed”, his new single which was scheduled to be released 12 March 2007. However, there was once again a lack of interest. The release was cancelled and James was dropped from his recording contract. He has since announced he has quit least his solo career.
In 2007, James appeared in the West End production of Chicago. He completed another 10 weeks in Chicago from 10 December 2007 until 9 February 2008. James has been cast as one of the leads in the musical Legally Blonde (adapted from the film Legally Blonde) as it transferred from Broadway to London’s West End in December 2009. He plays opposite Sheridan Smith as Elle, and Aoife Mulholland as Brooke. In December 2009, James appeared as ‘Warner Huntington III’ in the West End production of Legally Blonde.
James has worked occasionally as a television presenter, having presented the 95.8 Capital FM’s Party in the Park for the Prince’s Trust (2003 and 2004), and ITV2’s coverage of the TV series Soapstar Superstar, along with Jayne Middlemiss. Other presenting work includes Pop City Live, Variety Club Showbusiness Awards 2004, T4 Movie Special: Spider-Man 2, Record of the Year: Downloaded and GMTV’s Entertainment Today. He also took part on ITV1’s Dancing on Ice in 2007, in which he made it to the grand final alongside rugby player Kyran Bracken and actress Clare Buckfield. He came third in the contest, although was unable to perform his Bolero performance. In 2007, James appeared in the pilot episode of Channel 4’s Plus One, playing himself. A full series was broadcast in 2009, in which he played a broad caricature of himself called “Duncan From Blue”. James made an appearance on a new show for Sky One called ‘Guinness World Records Smashed’ performing with Festival4Stars contestants. It aired in November 2008. In 2008, James became an Ambassador of Festival4Stars talent competition after he judge a national final. He appeared in an episode of The Bill called “The Morning After” which aired on 1 January 2009. He played a character called Dan Colman. It was confirmed in February 2009 that James had been chosen to replace Denise Van Outen as the presenter of Grease: the School Musical which is the sequel to Hairspray: The School Musical. Filming of the show commenced in early 2009. In May 2009, James announced the UK’s voting in the Eurovision Song Contest. He presented Hannah-Oke on Disney Channel UK, a singing dancing contest based on the popular Disney TV series Hannah Montana. He also appeared on Celebrity Are You Smarter Than A 10 Year Old? (UK) and raised £10,000 for his charities. In 2006, James appeared with the other members of the boyband Blue on the 26 June episode of Ministry of Mayhem, where James and the other band members were all hypnotised by UK stage hypnotist David Days. James appeared as a celebrity guest on 14 August 2009 on Daily Cooks Challenge. In 2010, James presented the quiz show ‘Scream if You Know the Answer!’ where the contestants have to answer questions whilst on rollercoasters. In July 2010, he appeared as a judge on Don’t Stop Believing, a talent show for choirs.
James has his own radio show on 95.8 Capital FM, every Sunday from 7–10 pm. According to an interview he gave to Gabby Logan on BBC Radio 5 Live on 28 July 2007, he is a great-grandson of Herbert Chapman, the manager of the Arsenal football team of the 1930s. James lives in Hatfield, Hertfordshire. He has a daughter named Tianie Finn with former girlfriend Claire Grainger. Duncan James came out as bisexual in an interview with the News of the World on 12 July 2009.