Since losing his virginity on television, James Riley has become a completely different person. Reporter DAVID MILLS went to find out how his life had changed in the last eight months.

WHEN James Riley appeared on Channel 4's Virgin School in May last year, he was a shy, insecure man completely lacking in confidence.

Mr Riley, of Crest View Drive, Petts Wood, was unemployed, did not have many friends and most important of all - had never had a girlfriend.

But after appearing in the television documentary in which he finally fulfilled his ambition to lose his virginity, he is a new person beaming in confidence.

Virgin School followed him as he took part in a four-month course for sexually inexperienced men in Amsterdam, run by Dutch love and leadership school Aquarion.

Since being on the show, the 27-year-old now has a job working at the Odeon cinema in Beckenham High Street and a girlfriend of six months - who he described as a "ray of sunshine" in his life.

He met his girlfriend at work and got together with her after a date at the cinema in August last year.

He said: "If it wasn't for the courage the documentary gave me, I would never have asked her out.

"She has made me become a better person.

"She has helped me find clarity in my life.

"Whenever I feel depressed she makes me feel a lot better.

"The main thing about her is that - I know it sounds cheesy - but she brings a ray of sunshine into my life."

The previously shy former Darrick Wood School pupil has been getting used to media attention, having featured in a photo shoot for a women's magazine and on a daytime television show This Morning.

But the only newspaper he would let interview him was News Shopper.

He said: "If I ever got attention from the press the only paper I wanted to be interviewed by was News Shopper because it is my local paper and I also live down the road from the office."

James, who lives with his father and father's girlfriend, spoke of how the changes in his life since the documentary had been pretty drastic.

He said: "There were a lot of changes in my life after that programme.

"Beforehand it was pretty chaotic.

"I did not have any confidence, I did not have that many friends.

"I was never sure what to say at parties or what to say to people.

"But because of doing the documentary it has made me more confident."

He said he believed people respected and admired him for doing the programme, in which he had sex for the first time in his life, in front of the cameras.

He said: "People think because of what I did on television that this guy must have balls.

"I think people want to meet me because of my courage and because I proved I am not this shy, oblique character."

James, who has a brother and sister, never went on television to become famous.

He said: "The last thing I wanted was for people to see me as some kind of TV star like someone from Big Brother.

"The main reason for doing the documentary was to prove I didn't have anything to hide and I was happy to discuss openly my inhibitions to people.

"TV was a great means to tackle my problems - to show I didn't care what people thought.

"It made me a stronger person.

"When I look at the person in the documentary he's like a stranger to me now - that's who I used to be."