James Stannage originally started out as an amateur actor and secondary school teacher and spent a few years in San Francisco studying drama.
After leaving Piccadilly Radio, he went on to work for other local radio stations such as TFM Radio during the eighties before returning to Piccadilly 1152 around 1990. In the early days of his second stint at Piccadilly, his style was mellower than it had been before, but as time wore on became increasingly aggressive again and insulting comments to callers were stoked up as well.
James H Reeve was Stannage's immediate successor for the late-night phone in on the station. Since then, the show has been cut back to three hours from four. However, in 2006, James H Reeve left Key 103 also, leaving the chatshow with yet another new presenter. Since then, the show has never really regained its grip on the Manchester market.
Throughout his career, James Stannage made many friends, but just as many enemies. One such was Radio City Talk Show Presenter, Pete Price. Infrequently, each would "slag" the other off on their respective shows. Upon Stannage's sacking, Pete infamously posted on his forum a topic entitled "James Stannage Sacked"
Key 103 received several fines during Stannage's 20-year career on the station, formerly Piccadilly Radio. One outburst cost £15,000 and in 2001, Stannage came under fire for describing First World War soldiers as "thick and ignorant" and he was questioned by police in the same year over allegations that he made a racist remark on his show. In May 2004, he got into trouble because of his jokes in the aftermath of the death of Chinese cockle pickers in Morecambe Bay.
James Stannage is currently one of the presenters on the Manchester online radio station, simply titled 'ManchesterRadioOnline.Com', alongside Dave Foran (Dairy Lee Dave), Paul (Ripman) Ripley, Irish Alan, and Seymour Mace - and is occasionally joined in the studio by one of the station's producers, Tony Filer (aka 'Wrestler').
As the station is based online, it is not subject to the same regulations as conventional radio stations, allowing the likes of Stannage to voice their outspoken opinions. The station launched on Sunday 9 September 2007 at 9pm. According to the site's own figures, over 150,000 people viewed the site pre-launch.
Comedian Jasper Carrott's album Jasper Carrott Live at Drury Lane features a routine about James Stannage.
James has two grown up sons, and two young grandchildren. His eldest son Darren Stannage is a Sports Journalist (currently working for Key 103) while his yonger son Dominic Stannage is also a radio presenter on M.R.O. and a member of a Rock Band in his spare time.