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Greg James

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This article is about the British DJ. For his radio show, see Greg James (radio show). For other people, see Greg James (disambiguation).
Greg James
Greg James 2015.jpg
James in April 2015
Born Gregory Alan James
(1985-12-17) 17 December 1985 (age 30)
East Hertfordshire, England[1]
Nationality British
Ethnicity English
Alma mater University of East Anglia
Occupation Radio and Television Presenter
Employer BBC
Television Britain Unzipped, Dead Air (comedy pilot), Murder in Successville (rookie celeb policeman)
Parent(s) Alan Milward; Rosemary Milward

Gregory Alan James (born 17 December 1985), commonly known as Greg James, is a British Radio DJ and TV presenter, most famous for hosting the drivetime show (Monday-Friday, 16:00-19:00) on BBC Radio 1.

Early life[edit]

James was born to Alan and Rosemary James, in Bishops Stortford, East Hertfordshire. His parents were both teachers; Alan a headteacher, and Rosemary a special needs teacher.[2] He has one sister, Catherine. As a baby, he received three life-saving blood Transfusions and was under an incubator for a week.[3]

James used to play cricket for Hertfordshire Under-18s.[4]

He first broadcast on Hospital Radio aged 14, however he later discovered that the transmitter was broken and none of his shows actually went out.[5]


James is an alumnus of The Bishop's Stortford High School, where he was deputy head boy.

He studied drama at the University of East Anglia in Norwich and achieved a 2:1.


While at university, he presented several shows on the students' union radio station Livewire 1350AM, becoming the station manager in 2006. He later said that being station manager was a job he did not enjoy.[6] He also presented several breakfast shows on Future Radio in Norwich and also on Pulse Rated in Salhouse before he got his break at BBC Radio 1.[7] He won 'Best Male Presenter' at the Student Radio Awards 2005.[5] During university holidays he presented stints on Galaxy North East.

James joined BBC Radio 1 in June 2007, to present Early Breakfast on Friday, and cover for the likes of Sara Cox and Vernon Kay. He presented his first show on Friday 1 June 2007, the day after graduating from university. In October 2007, he was awarded the Early Breakfast Show (04:30-07:00, which was soon changed to 04:00-06:30) five days a week. He presented his first full-time show on Monday 1 October 2007, and his first ever Record of the Week was Hometown Glory by Adele.

On 21 September 2009, a new schedule was launched on Radio 1, and it was announced that James would move to an Early Afternoon slot; 1pm to 4pm - replacing Edith Bowman, who moved to the weekend breakfast slot.

James was the host of The Official Chart Update, on Wednesday afternoons between 15:30 and 16:00, and 16:00-16:30 when he moved to drivetime, from its inception in March 2010[8] until January 2013 when Scott Mills took it over, at the original time of 15:30.

James also co-hosts Not Just Cricket on 5 Live with England Cricketers Graeme Swann and Jimmy Anderson that is broadcast once every few months. The shows main focus is talking about cricket, but they also talk about anything else they fancy.

James guest hosted the 16 February 2013 edition of the 5 Live comedy sport programme Fighting Talk, standing in for Colin Murray.

Drivetime show[edit]

On 28 February 2012, it was announced that James and Scott Mills would swap shows as of 2 April 2012, meaning James would host the drivetime show (1600-1900) from that date. James's show has a variety of recurring features including: "Star Caller", "Rage against the Answer Machine", "Mayor of Where", Celebrity guests on Thursdays, and Film Reviews with reviewer Ali Plumb. Off the cuff improv games typically include Chris Smith aka: 'Chris Smith with the news' from BBC Radio 1 "Newsbeat".

James once hosted his show for an entire week broadcasting from the BFBS Radio Studio in Camp Bastion, Afghanistan; he also staged "G In the Park", a mini-music festival from the BBC in Glasgow prior to the T in The Park festival.

Due to changes in release dates of music worldwide, since 10 July 2015 James' Friday show also features The Official Chart'.


James is also a TV presenter. In 2009, he presented a TV show for BBC Three called Sun, Sex and Holiday Madness, about British tourists in Magaluf and Young, Jobless and Living at Home, also for BBC Three. He has presented Sound on BBC Two's Switch and he hosted the backstage winners' podium at the 2009 BRIT Awards, which he did again in 2010.

In 2011, James had a non-speaking cameo role in the Doctor Who episode "Closing Time".[9]

In 2012, James co-presented two series of Unzipped (originally named Britain Unzipped) on BBC Three with Russell Kane and later How to Win Eurovision, a special two-hour show, on 11 May 2013. In December 2012, James and Gabby Logan presented 50 Greatest London 2012 Olympics Moments on BBC Three. The show was broadcast on his 27th birthday.

On 25 September 2013, James along with Kane starred in their chat show Staying in with Greg and Russell on BBC Three. Both later appeared on the Children in Need 2013 appeal night during a Lip Sync Challenge, which James won by performing 'The Circle of Life' from 'The Lion King'.

He regularly hosts BBC Three's Family Guy and American Dad! specials to celebrate the start of a new series.

In September 2014, James hosted the closing ceremony of The Invictus Games with Clare Balding live on BBC Two.

As of February 2015, he presents the BBC Three reality game show I Survived a Zombie Apocalypse.

In May 2015, he played a police officer in the BBC Three comedy murder mystery series Murder in Successville.[10]

Also in 2015, James co-wrote and starred in the Comedy Feeds episode Dead Air.

Music festivals[edit]

In 2011, James started presenting the BBC Three's coverage of Glastonbury and in August 2012, the Reading and Leeds Festival (both with Fearne Cotton). He presented coverage of T in the Park 2012, alongside Edith Bowman in July. In 2013, James co-presented extensive coverage of Radio 1's Big Weekend on BBC Three with Alice Levine. In June 2013, James once again hosted BBC Three's coverage of Glastonbury, alongside Gemma Cairney.

He yet again hosted the BBC's coverage of festivals including Radio 1's Big Weekend, T in The Park, Reading, and Glastonbury in the summer of 2014.

Charity work[edit]

In January 2013, along with Jack Dee, Mel C, Dara O'Briain, Philips Idowu and Chelsee Healey, James took part in the Red Nose Day 'Hell and High Water Challenge'. They journeyed along the Zambezi River for 5 days raising money to build a new school in the region. They raised well over £1 million for the charity.

On 2 March 2013, James appeared on the Let's Dance for Comic Relief judging panel alongside Arlene Phillips and Lee Mack.[11]

In 2014, James was part of 'Team Coe' in the Sport Relief 'Clash of The Titans'. His team won the competition held at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. He took part in the cycling, synchronized swimming and swimming relay.

In February 2015, he, Chris Smith, Yasmin Evans (of 1Xtra Breakfast) and Alex Jones traveled to Uganda to take part in Operation Health. There, they helped to rebuild the Iyolwa Health Centre in Eastern Uganda, using money raised by Comic Relief.[12] He blogged about it here.[13] In total, the Radio 1 audience raised £551,405.[13]

In Feb 2016, for Sport Relief, Greg underwent the tough challenge of completing five Triathlons in 5 days, in 5 different cities across the UK, hosting his Drivetime Radio 1 show after completing his daily Triathlon

Greg also supports Coppafeel a charity raising awareness of breast cancer. In Feb 2016, Greg participated in the inaugural BoobBall, where four teams of celebrities took part in a game where they try to avoid being hit by giant fake boobs.

In May 2016, Greg is the curator for Coppafeel's "Silent Disco Dash" in Kent.


Personal life[edit]

James is godfather to Ruby, the younger daughter of England cricketer James Anderson.[14]

James dated singer Ellie Goulding for 18 months from June 2010 to January 2012. They began dating at one of her live shows, and allegedly broke up as a result of her busy work schedule.[15]

From November 2013 until summer 2015, James was in a relationship with Jess Lord, who he met at a pre-Olympics party.[16][17]

He is a keen cricket fan, and used to play for Hertfordshire Under-18s. He is also a keen supporter of Aviva Premiership Rugby Club Bath Rugby.[4]

He is an ambassador for two charities; The Stroke Association and The Lord's Taverners. He also took part in the 2012 NHS Team Give Blood campaign, representing O+.[18]


External links[edit]

Media offices
Preceded by
JK and Joel
BBC Radio 1 early breakfast host
October 2007 – September 2009
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Edith Bowman
BBC Radio 1 early afternoon show host
September 2009 – March 2012
Succeeded by
Scott Mills
Preceded by
Scott Mills
BBC Radio 1 drivetime host
April 2012 – present
Current holder
Preceded by
Clara Amfo
BBC Radio 1 chart show presenter
10 July 2015 – present