Buckley was born in Croydon. At the age of two, he moved to Dagenham. He attended Beam Primary School. It was here, while taking part in school plays, that Buckley found out how much he enjoyed performing and started going to a stage school at the weekends from the age of seven. At age 11, Buckley began his first professional jobs in the West End shows Whistle Down the Wind and Les Misérables.
Buckley appeared in a Hellmann's advertisement in 2004. His stage credits include the West End musical Les Misérables as Gavroche and Whistle Down the Wind as Clarence. As well as The Inbetweeners, The Inbetweeners Movie and Rock & Chips, Buckley's other credits include an episode of Skins and episodes of The Bill, Holby City and Teachers.
He also played the character of Fred in Off the Hook. For Red Nose Day 2011, Buckley and his Inbetweeners co-stars went on a "rude road trip" and visited the rudest street names in the United Kingdom in 50 hours. In April 2011, Buckley received a BAFTA nomination for his role in The Inbetweeners. Buckley played the main character in the short film Veronique. He had a part in the film Everywhere and Nowhere, released in 2011. He reprised his role as Jay Cartwright in The Inbetweeners Movie, released 17 August 2011.
Buckley also does voice-overs utilising his distinctive accent. He recently worked with AllAboutCareers.com to produce an explanatory animation for the website. Buckley is also the narrator on E4's show Little Box of Horrors. He starred in the music video for States of Emotion's track "The Unsung", and also features on backing vocals and guitar on Steve Cradock's album Peace City West. He appeared in a commercial for the mobile phone company Orange, with the cast of The Expendables 2. He recently voiced the Envirofone adverts. In 2012, he made his directorial debut when he directed a music video for Essex band The Milk. He also starred in the video. Most recently, James has acted as voiceover for children's travel brand, Trunki, in their first TV advertisement with Aardman.
|2011||Everywhere and Nowhere||Jamie|
|2011||The Inbetweeners Movie||Jay Cartwright|
|2014||The Inbetweeners 2||Jay Cartwright|
|2001||'Orrible||Ryan||Episode: "Two Men and a Bastard"|
|2005||The Bill||Tom Wilkinson||Episode: "286"|
|2006||The Bill||Joseph Rake||Episode: "412"|
|2006||Holby City||Ali Wilkinson||Episode: "Better the Devil You Know"|
|2008||The Bill||Marcus Stepney||Episode: "First Strike"|
|2008–2010||The Inbetweeners||Jay Cartwright|| Main Role|
Nominated – British Comedy Award for Best Comedy Actor (2010)
Nominated – BAFTA for Best Male Performance in a Comedy Role (2011)
Nominated - Royal Television Society Award for Best Comedy Performance (2011)
|2009||Off the Hook||Fred||Main Role|
|2010||Comedy Lab||Rob||Episode: "Filth"|
|2010||Rock & Chips||Del Boy||Main Role|
|2011||The Comic Strip Presents...||Sergeant||Episode: "The Hunt for Tony Blair"|
- Template:Official website
- Template:IMDb name
- Interview With Simon Bird and James Buckley profile, The British Comedy Guide
- "The Inbetweeners - Who's who?", lastbroadcast.co.uk