The former Apprentice candidate struck up a friendship with US reality star Austin from day one, with their bromance being one of the highlights of the series.
Fittingly, while James finished first, Austin was runner-up.
Speaking to Emma Willis in his exit interview, James said: "That guy is my number one. He's brilliant. I'm a loner and to have somebody in the house to lean on. It's like he was sent to me. He's so nice. We had a great time, special moments. He's a good guy, a geezer.
"I think he's a great lad. What he's been through in life is inspirational and to be the man he is and to show that strength... I hope our friendship continues. And how amazing what he did for Gail [when he shaved his head]? What a man. How incredible."
Of course, James was asked about that comment to Austin about them not really knowing each other. "I didn't mean to hurt his feelings," said James. I just think to become friends takes time. I thought in three weeks you don't know each other very well and it takes time."
He also denied that nominating Austin was a strategy to get rid of his biggest competition ahead of the finale, saying: "I even forgot the end result. I just thought being in the house and what's fair to everyone. As much as I love him, it was hard to do, but the way he carried on wasn't right.
"It would have been the wrong thing to do not to nominate him. I wanted him to realise his strengths and do things the right way."
CBB finale results
5th: Chloe-Jasmine and Stevi
Celebrity Big Brother airs on Channel 5.
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