Listen, we all know that sometimes when Channel 5 announces the line-up for ‘Celebrity Big Brother’, producers play it somewhat fast and loose with the term “celebrity”.
Yes, we remember Amanda Barrie from ‘Coronation Street’ and Ann Widdecombe from hanging from the ceiling by her waist on ‘Strictly’ (plus her questionable political leanings), but other members of the new series aren’t exactly on everyone’s radars, are they?
One such contestant is Ashley James, who was one of eight women to enter the house as part of this January’s all-female launch night, prompting many people to utter just one word as her name was announced...
If you were one of them, then allow us to answer any burning questions you may have about the ‘CBB’ star:
So first off... who actually is Ashley James, then?
Where better to turn than her official website, where she’s described as a “presenter and DJ living in London”?
Curiously, her just-short-of-600-word bio completely sidesteps her biggest claim to fame - a two-series stint on ‘Made In Chelsea’ (as did ‘CBB’ presenter Emma Willis when she introduced Ashley on launch night).
‘Made In Chelsea’, you say?
Yeah! Ashley joined the show in its fourth series, when ‘Made In Chelsea’ was really starting to get big.
She briefly dated Francis (before he awkwardly ditched their date right in the middle of the night to profess his love for someone else), and was later romantically linked with Ollie Locke, who she split from after growing jealous of his close relationship with his best friend, Oscar.
Here she is in action back in the day...
Where did it all start for her?
Ashley’s modelling career began when she was a teenager, after she was discovered by a modelling scout in her home city of Newcastle - yes, Newcastle - but as Ashley herself explained on her YouTube channel, she was sent to boarding school at the age of eight, which is where she lost her Geordie accent.
And to think, she could have wound up on a totally different reality show altogether...
And what about after ‘Made In Chelsea’, have there been any famous boyfriends of note?
Well, she was briefly rumoured to have dated David Walliams, though this was never confirmed by either party, while she has also had a relationship with comedian and former ‘Xtra Factor’ presenter Matt Richardson.
Hmmm, and what about famous friends?
Ashley actually has a section on her website dedicated to her “squad”, a group of women from various fields in the entertainment industry. Among them are fellow reality star Lydia Bright, TV presenters AJ Odudu and Lilah Parsons, model Vogue Williams and dancer Danielle Peazer.
What kind of ‘Celebrity Big Brother’ housemate will she be?
Well, a former ‘Made In Chelsea’ star being thrown into the ‘CBB’ house might seem like a by-the-numbers booking by Channel 5 bosses, after all she’s following in the footsteps of Ollie Locke, Stephanie Pratt and Sam Thompson before her.
That being said, as well as the various other strings to her bow, Ashley is an opinionated writer, penning blogs here on HuffPost UK. She’s also had a guest column in Closer magazine, which she says centred around her “views and opinions around female empowerment”, making this particular series of ‘CBB’ the ideal one to sign her up for.
Ashley is also vocal about current affairs and issues that matter to her on social media, even getting into a war of words with former ‘MIC’ co-star Spencer Matthews when he accused her of “confusing herself for the Dalai Lama”, to which she offered a succinct and sharp response.
Could she make it all the way to the final?
Given that the last series of ‘Celebrity Big Brother’ was won by a woman unafraid to say whatever’s on her mind, even to her own detriment (that’d be Sarah Harding), with a former ‘Made In Chelsea’ star also in third place, we’d say it’s not unimaginable that Ashley will go the distance.