Who is James Blake? The star of BBC Three and BBC iPlayer’s new hit documentary, ’Hunting The Catfish Crime Gang’. Credit: INSTAGRAM/JAMES BLAKE
James Blake’s remarkable journey from a successful entrepreneur and internet personality to television star, heading up his own documentary on BBC is a testament to the power of social media in shaping careers.
James, now 30, grew up in Belfast, Northern Ireland. As mentioned in his new documentary ‘Hunting The Catfish Crime Gang’, he is from working class background, his late father having been a taxi driver. James has described himself in multiple interviews as ambitious and passionate. James embodies many traits typical of successful entrepreneurs, fitting the mold of someone who wasn’t particularly focused in school but excelled in his passions.
This trait is common among many innovative minds, where academic settings may not fully capture their potential or interests. However, his LinkedIn profile reveals a noteworthy achievement: he recently completed a course in Artificial Intelligence at the prestigious University of Oxford.
James Blake, Belfast entrepreneur and internet personality turn documentary star Credit: INSTAGRAM/JAMES BLAKE
It seems he has spent most of his twenties building his very successful digital marketing agency, VINDICTA from the ground up and now has his eyes set on television and documentary making.
With his business acumen and savvy social media skills, James as of this day has amassed over 100 thousand followers across his social media profiles – mainly showcasing his journey from “working class lad” to a successful businessman with a luxurious lifestyle, including a plethora of luxury supercars and an impressive collection of designer clothing and watches.
Evidently, this digital footprint not only propelled his business to great heights but also set the stage for his leap into television.
James’s foray into television is marked by his debut as the lead presenter in the BBC Three and BBC iPlayer documentary “Hunting The Catfish Crime Gang.” This venture highlights his natural talent as an on-screen presenter, drawing viewers into his personal battle against internet scammers who misused his social media content.
The documentary reflects James’s determination and resilience, diving into the dark world of online fraud. The documentary begins by exploring the impact of identity theft but quickly turns much darker as James finds himself investigating organized criminal gangs on the other side of the world.
The gangs James investigates are no small operation being worth millions in a billion-dollar industry and very quickly James realizes the shocking extent of their criminal activity which includes human trafficking, forced scaling, and romance scams.
James Blake speaking on panel at Belfast Media Festival earlier this month
Credit: INSTAGRAM/JAMES BLAKE
According to James’s social media, the documentary has had a very successful debut and has been listed as one of the most popular on BBC iPlayer for a period of time.
His engaging presence on social media, coupled with his ability to connect with audiences, played a crucial role in his successful transition to television.
James’s story is not just about the challenges and pitfalls of publishing lots of your life online; it’s a narrative of how digital influence can open doors to new opportunities, even amidst great adversity. His documentary on BBC is a remarkable achievement, showcasing his versatility as no longer just an internet star but a television personality.
In “Hunting The Catfish Crime Gang,” James takes viewers on a global journey, from Thailand to the borders of Myanmar, exposing the inner workings of online scams and the devastating effects they have on victims behind screens and In human trafficking compounds. His investigative work in the documentary is a compelling example of how one can leverage personal experiences to create impactful and meaningful television content.
Harrowing – A scene from ‘Hunting The Catfish Crime Gang’ in which James met with Thailand’s FBI equivalent to discuss human trafficking and forced scamming. Credit: IMDB
James Blake’s story is a modern tale of how digital influence can be a double-edged sword but also a stepping stone to greater achievements. His transition from a social media influencer to lead and star of a documentary on a prominent platform like the BBC is a testament to his talent, determination, and the evolving landscape of media and entertainment.
Hunting The Catfish Crime Gang is available to watch on BBC iPlayer here.