Meet James Crossley — Britain's 'The Circle' Breakout Hunk

Saturday April 10, 2021
Originally published on April 3, 2021

On the current season of the British edition of "The Circle," the show's most charismatic player is James Crossley, the fitness guru who was catfishing as a female nurse on the reality show. Spoiler alert: Crossley was blocked on the show after having revealed his identity to a fellow contestant, who was one of the pair who chose to block him. The other was Manrika (an Instagram influencer who went on the show as herself), whom Crossley chose to visit as he exited that led to an awkward confrontation.

But who was this hunky muscle daddy that has caught the imagination of the British public? Turns out the 47-year-old already caught the public's eye when he starred in "Gladiators" from 1993-2000. On the competitive sports show, he played Hunter, who "was known for his distinctive blonde hair as he went up against willing contestants for cash prizes on the assault course games," Metro reports. "He later won the title Ultimate Gladiator in a 1999 spin-off series where he competed with his fellow professionals."

Since leaving the show Crossley has acted, but primarily has focused on a career in the fitness industry. "James also runs his own successful consultancy business, Chelsea Fitness," wrote The Sun. "He has pushed several campaigns, including #FitAt40, which gives the British public tips to keep in shape at any age."

James appeared on "The Circle" with plans to donate some money to the NHS, adding: "The reason for doing The Circle and being a catfish is the challenge of playing somebody else. I'm really just going on to try and challenge myself to do something completely different," reported

"Those people who are after a new workout or fitness tips, may have across James' Instagram profile. 'The Circle' 2021 star already enjoys a massive fan base and he currently has 27.2k followers."

One of his recent achievements was to get his yoga qualification and Level 4 Strength and Conditioning during lockdown. " 'The Circle' star said that his new focus is on nourishing and prolonging his health, as well as living pain free, after years of having a competitive mindset," he told the Daily Mail this past week.

When lockdown hit, Crossley couldn't get to his fitness equipment, so decided to take a new path. " 'I wasn't working, so I needed something to fill my day and it just made sense that I was getting into the yoga — my girlfriend's a yoga teacher — and it just made absolute sense to do that."

But, he added, there was an obstacle for him to get into the right mindset due to his years in competitive sports.

"I'm the kind of person who likes to be busy, likes to be challenged, but the challenge is how to change what your body and mind are capable of doing. You only get one life and you've got to try to make the most of it.

"I can accept now, and this was really hard for me to let go of, the competitiveness of Strong Man, the competitiveness of lifting, if I tried it now - too many injuries.

"It's just letting that stuff go, changing the mindset, which can be the hardest thing. Moving forward with the mind, I've done that now, which took me a little while."

He added: "Sometimes we do everything possible to get these things but I think the point is, my mind isn't in that mindset now of: 'What can I do to win,' it's: 'What can I do to nourish, what can I do to prolong health and be pain free,' " he told the DM.

Check out the pics from Crossley's Instagram: