James began his directing career in the theatre, directing for the Young Shakespeare Company, touring shows in the UK and US.
He moved into television at the BBC working on a range of factual and current affairs programming. His first full-length documentary, The Earth In Balance, was written and presented by Prince Charles. Filmed around the world it led to projects in Africa, the Middle East and South America, often in remote and war-torn locations. His documentary credits include Life Stories, Against All Odds, Inside Story, the Emmy-nominated Egypt’s Golden Empire and Lawrence of Arabia – Battle for The Arab World, which he also wrote and produced.
As a drama director, James earned his spurs on The Bill, the launch of Holby City and working with Diana Rigg on The Mrs Bradley Mysteries. He worked on the 2004 re-launch of Dr Who, including the infamous Are You My Mummy? episodes, introduced David Tennant as the tenth Doctor, and directed the first Christmas Special for which he won a BAFTA.
Credits over the last few years include Fanny Hill, Marie Lloyd, The Chatterley Affair, the recent adaptation of The 39 Steps and the launch of Merlin for the BBC and NBC in the US.
His most recent project is a film about Enid Blyton, starring Helena Bonham Carter.
James is in development with a number of television and feature projects. He also works as an executive producer on documentaries, including the recent Storyville: I’m Not Dead Yet.