OCCUPATION: Recruitment consultant
RELATIONSHIP STATUS: In a relationship
PLAYING AS: “Sammie”, a single mother
IN A NUTSHELL: James works as a recruitment consultant and believes that his skills of communication will help him get ahead in The Circle. He will be catfishing as “Sammie”, a young single mum with a baby. Although he’s using this character to gain sympathy from other players, he believes he’s doing it for the right reasons as he sees winning the competition as an opportunity to change his family’s life for the better.
MOTIVATION FOR ENTERING THE CIRCLE: James’s priority in life is to make sure his family never go without. He’s seen how tough it can be for single mothers having been brought up in a single parent household himself, and he has huge respect for his mum as a result. He wants to use the prize money to help open a refuge for women and children.
STRATEGY: James believes Sammie’s persona will pull on the heart strings of his fellow players and enable him to get a fast pass into the final. “Sammie” will let other players know just how life-changing winning The Circle would be for her and her son. But James is also prepared to turn players against each other if he has to.
What made you sign up to The Circle?
I watched it last year thinking the concept was unbelievable. I liked the thought of being on TV but in my day to day life I always like to find common ground with people, and I think I could use those skills in The Circle. I just thought this is perfect for me.
Can you describe your profile in The Circle?
My profile is going to be a similar age to me. She's called Sammie. She is a 26-year-old single mum with a baby boy called Charlie.
Why did you choose to play this character rather than yourself?
People might see me and think pretty boy, loves himself and I'll be judged really quickly, whereas I’m actually really down to earth and I might not have enough time to get that across in The Circle. I have enormous admiration for single mums. I was raised by a young single mum. I have nothing but respect for the her or anybody else in that position, to be honest, single mums give up everything for their children which is why I chose to present as Sammie in The Circle.
What's your strategy to win?
Find common ground with everybody, make people feel special, if there is an older woman in there tell her she's exactly like my mum, say it's so nice to have her in there. Make people feel warm.
How easy do you think it's going to be to win people over using just pictures and words?
I have to do that in day to day life. It's all about finding common ground and getting their trust and building relationships. I don't think it'll be much different in The Circle. The only difference is that I'm going to be pretending to be a girl. I want to make absolutely clear, I'm not exploiting young, single mums at all. I have nothing but respect for them, and the prize money will help people in this position if I win.
I'm doing it for my family. My mum is one of the most special people to me, and if I can win this and I make her life easier, then that's exactly what I'm going to do.
What social media platforms do you normally use?
Just Instagram really.
Who's your favourite star that you follow on social media?
I don't really have one. I do follow UK rappers because I like the music but that's about it.
Have you ever had a funny/embarrassing experience on social media?
Yes. I once mistakenly posted an embarrassing personal picture on Snapchat when I thought it was going to my girlfriend. I’ll never make that mistake again!
Have you ever been catfished?
Do you think you'll be able to spot any catfish in the in The Circle?
I think I will be able to. I've got a couple of killer questions up my sleeve.
Is there anything that really annoys you or bugs you about social media?
People who don't act their wage. You see people with really expensive coats, Rolex watches and then you see them at the bus stop. Champagne lifestyle, lemonade budget.
Were you popular at school?
Yes, I was, I'm not bragging but I had a lot of friends.
Are you worried about any backlash you might get when you reveal that you are James and not a single mum?
No! I'm here to win that £100,000, and I think the other players will understand my motivations when they meet me, and I hope I’ll be friends with them once filming is over.
How far will you go to win?
It's really a question of how far I wouldn't go. £100,000 is a lot of money, it is life changing, to be honest, and I'm going to cause an absolute racket along the way.
What would you do with the prize money?
One thing I would definitely 100 per cent do, and I mean this from the absolute bottom of my heart, is set up a hostel for women and children who need to put a roof over their heads. Then put a deposit on my house, do a bit of travelling and treat my family the way they deserve to be treated.