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James is the friend and housemate of Ada Thorne during Series 2. Since he is a writer, he owns little money, and Ada allows him to rent a room at her house for no charge.

Series 2

James meets Thomas for the first time. (Episode 2.4)

During Episode 2.4, Thomas Shelby visits his sister Ada at her house and runs into James. Initially Thomas is angry, mistaking James to be a new boyfriend of Ada's, but his sister corrects him and tells him that James is simply a friend, and that he is also a homosexual, despite it being illegal. Knowing this, Thomas welcomes him kindly. Ada also tells Thomas that James does not know that she is a Shelby.

During Episode 2.6, James heads with Thomas to Camden Town to visit Alfie Solomons. Though James does not enter the building, he remains outside and Thomas makes sure that he is seen by Alfie's assistant Ollie. During the meeting, Thomas informs Alfie that his "associate" James, who is standing outside, is an anarchist from Kentish Town, who will be able to detonate the hand grenade that Thomas placed within Alfie's building. This bluff allows Thomas to only hand over 30% of his business to Alfie, and Thomas and James leave and head back to Birmingham.

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