Duncan Airlie James

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Duncan Airlie James
Duncan Airlie James Headshot.jpg
Born Duncan Campbell
(1961-05-23) 23 May 1961 (age 55)
Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland, UK
Nationality Scottish
Height 5 ft 10 in (178 cm)
Weight 15 st 6 lb (98 kg)
Division Heavyweight
Style Kickboxing, Muay Thai
Fighting out of Glasgow, Scotland
Team Strikeforce Glasgow
Years active 1993–2006
Kickboxing record
Total 48
Wins 32
Losses 14
Draws 2
No contests 0
Other information
Occupation Actor / Former Kickboxer
Website http://www.duncanairliejames.com/

Duncan Airlie James (born Duncan Campbell on 23 May 1961) is a Scottish actor best known for his roles in Starred Up and The Greyness of Autumn. He is a former heavyweight kickboxer[1][2] and was the first Scottish fighter to win a world Muay Thai title and fight in K-1.

Early life[edit]

James was born Duncan Campbell and was educated at the fee-paying Keil School where he was a competitive rugby player. His martial arts background began when he took up Shotokan karate. He was also a drummer and played with a number of bands including Nazareth. He moved to Boston, Massachusetts in the US to pursue new musical avenues.[3]

Kickboxing career[edit]

When he returned to Scotland, he took up Muay Thai kickboxing in the late 1980s. In 1993, he won his first title, the World Kickboxing Association Commonwealth Light Heavyweight Championship. After successfully defending that title, he vacated it and moved up to the Cruiserweight division and later the Heavyweight division where he won a number of other titles. In February 1999, he made his K-1 debut against Japanese legend Musashi at K-1 Rising Sun '99 and lost via technical knockout after being knocked down three times in the third round. He went on to fight twice more in Japan that year, drawing with Yoji Anjo and losing to karate master Nobuaki Kakuda.

He retired in 2006 with a record of 32 wins, 14 losses and 2 draws.

Titles and honours[edit]

Muay Thai:

  • WKA Commonwealth Super Light Heavyweight Champion (1993)
  • ISKA World Super Cruiserweight Champion (1998)
  • WKN World Heavyweight Champion (2001)
  • WAKO World Heavyweight Champion (2003)
  • WKF World Heavyweight Champion (2005)
  • WPKA World Heavyweight Champion


  • WKO World Cruiserweight Champion (1995)
  • WKA World Heavyweight Champion (2001)

Kickboxing record[edit]

32 Wins, 4 Losses, 2 Draws
Date Result Opponent Event Method Round Time Location Notes
2006 Loss Czech Republic Daniel Waciakowski TKO (shoulder injury) For WPKL and KL World Heavyweight Championships.
15 April 2006 Loss Canada Giuseppe DiNatale Colosseum 2 KO (punches) Canada Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada For IKF World Heavyweight Muay Thai Championship.
May, 2005 Win Hungary Tibor Nagy World Professional Kickboxing Association/World Kickboxing Federation Decision (Unanimous) - - Scotland Glasgow, Scotland Wins World Professional Kickboxing Association and World Kickboxing Federation World Heavyweight Muay Thai Championships.
22 February 2004 Loss England Chris Batcheldor K-1 Battle of Britain 2004 Decision 3 3:00 England Wolverhampton, England
November, 2003 Win Italy Angelo Grenata WAKO TKO 2 - Italy Palermo, Italy Wins WAKO World Heavyweight Muay Thai Championship.
13 April 2003 Loss England Phil Williams K-1 World Grand Prix 2003 Preliminary UK Decision 5 3:00 England Birmingham, England
5 April 2002 Loss Belarus Sergei Ivanovich Decision 3 1:53 Scotland Motherwell, Scotland For WAKO and ISKA World Heavyweight Muay Thai Championships.
30 June 2001 Win France Stephane Reveillon World Kickboxing Network KO 1 - Northern Ireland Belfast, Northern Ireland Wins World Kickboxing Network World Heavyweight Muay Thai Championship.
April, 2001 Win KO 1 England Worcester, England Wins WKA International Super Heavyweight Championship.
16 April 2000 Loss England John Wyatt K-1 UK Battle of Britain 2000 TKO 2 2:00 England Birmingham, England
6 June 1999 Loss Japan Nobuaki Kakuda K-1 Survival '99 Decision (Unanimous) 5 3:00 Japan Sapporo, Japan
15 May 1999 Loss France Jerome Turcan Strikeforce Decision 5 3:00 United States San Jose, California, United States
22 March 1999 Draw Japan Yoji Anjo K-1 The Challenge '99 Decision 5 3:00 Japan Tokyo, Japan
3 February 1999 Loss Japan Musashi K-1 Rising Sun '99 TKO (3 Knockdowns) 2 2:52 Japan Tokyo, Japan
16 August 1998 Loss England Chris Wright KO 2 2:04 England St. Helens, England Loss I.K.F Pro Muay Thai Cruiserweight World Title.
June, 1998 Win France Christophe de Tholomaise Decision Northern Ireland Bangor, Northern Ireland Wins ISKA World Super Cruiserweight Muay Thai Championship.
1997 Win England Paul Senior WKA: Quest KO - - England Birmingham, England Wins WKA: Quest Cruiserweight tournament.
September, 1995 Win Netherlands Hassan Babchi KO 1 - Scotland Glasgow, Scotland Wins WKO Cruiserweight World Championship.
9 October 1993 Win England Lee Hasdell WKA TKO (cut) - - England England Wins WKA Light Heavyweight Commonwealth Muay Thai Championship.


Duncan Airlie James (centre) at the premiere of In Search of La Che

When he retired from the world of kickboxing, Duncan retrained as an actor. After appearing in a number of short films and a small cameo appearance in the film Perfect Sense, Duncan landed his first leading role when he was asked to play the lead character of John Tavish in the Scottish feature film In Search of La Che. Whilst the film itself received mixed reviews on both sides of the Atlantic, critics were quick to applaud Duncan's performance.[4]

2012 saw Duncan star in many and varied short films including The Priest With Two Guns directed by Rodney Reynolds. The film centres around Father O'Reilly who is troubled when he discovers his brother is in debt to a local money lender.[5] The film went on to pick up a grand jury prize at the 2014 Amsterdam Film Festival.[6] The end of 2012 saw Duncan lend his voice to one of his most recognised roles to date in the short comedy film The Greyness of Autumn.[7] Duncan voiced the character of Danny McGuire, an ostrich living in Glasgow whose life is suddenly turned upside down when he loses his job and his girlfriend in the same day. The film enjoyed great success in the United States,[8] Ireland[9] and the United Kingdom where it featured in the 2014 edition of the Portobello Film Festival.[10] Duncan's performance was widely praised with John McArthur of MovieScramble writing "The hook at the start of the film is the voice of Danny. A deep, resonant and very individual vocal draws you in immediately."[11] In 2013 he played the role of Officer White opposite Jack O'Connell in Starred Up,[12][13] a feature film directed by David Mackenzie. The film went on to win 3 awards at the 2014 British Academy Scotland Awards including Best Feature Film.[14]

2015 will see Duncan star in the leading role of Major Doug Bormann in Fanatic. He will be reunited with Luke Aherne who directed the web series Frank.


Year Title Director Role Notes
2009 Perfect Sense David Mackenzie Gym Fighter
2010 Civilisation Nicholas Vafio Harry
Wrath of a Suffragette Seth Ward / Kev Bagnall Gerry
Godforsaken Sarah Harlow Ed
2011 Lisa Deserves Better Paul Allison Daniel
The Juice Phil Thompson Frankie Boy
Brathair Eve Leonard Steven
In Search of La Che Mark D. Ferguson John Tavish First Leading Role
Fate Waits Ben Macgregor Mark Syllka
Got It Dean Howard Big Al
Snagged Mark Brown Ziggy
2012 Iustitia Dave Craig Iustitia Omnibus
Violation Peter Hardy / Charlie Parker Commander Grier
Dust Paul MacAdam Thommo
Loan Ruahdri Hunter Gerry
The Priest with Two Guns Rodney Reynolds Father O'Reilly
The Greyness of Autumn Chris Quick Danny McGuire Voice
2013 Starred Up David Mackenzie Officer White
Jab, Cross, Hook Shaun Sutton Tam McLean
Unsuitable Naomi Phillips Jimmy
Fleshmarket Close Eve Leonard Duncan
2014 Glory Hunter Craig Maclachlan Jerry Gallagher
Mitchum Jemma Sutherland Detective Inspector Mitchum TV pilot
K'Nibble Andrew Dobbie Gregg McLaren
Frank Luke Aherne Jim Web Series
Con Laura Briggs Tom
Tanner Park Ian Hendry Iggy
2015 Prescription R Andrew Dobbie Robert "Boab" Baxter
Fanatic Luke Aherne Major Doug Bormann
ID2 : Shadwell Army Joel Novoa Hunt
2016 Autumn Never Dies Chris Quick Danny McGuire Voice


External links[edit]