IT'S the ultimate nightmare scenario for any man: the love of your life dumps you and cops off with a famous celebrity. Even worse, someone who used to be in a boy band! A few months later, you get a letter in the mail, an invitation to their wedding. Panic, anger, dreams of revenge ensue.

Former Blue star Duncan James, who grew up in Blandford and went to Corfe Hills School in Corfe Mullen, is playing himself in Plus One, a one-off Channel 4 sitcom on Friday whose plot follows that very tack.

The pin-up doesn't mind gently mocking himself and surprisingly admits: "I'm actually really shy when it comes to dating. I'm not really confident at all. When it comes to chatting someone up, I'm really nervous. I'm not the kind of guy who would go out and pull a girl, take her home and snog her."

Anyone who's read a newspaper in the last few years might beg to differ. After all, Duncan was the Lothario of Blue wasn't he? The good-looking one who allegedly bedded many desirable women, including Tara Palmer-Tomkinson.

"I'm not the character I was perceived as playing in Blue," he continues.

"We were all given characters - Lee was the cheeky one, Duncan was the ladies' man - and we all had different roles to play. The stories would come out to hype up our images. It wasn't necessarily us, but that was what the record company wanted."

But his first outing as a TV actor sees him play a much more monstrous version of this public persona.

"The programme makers wanted me to play this character Duncan-From-Blue," he explains. "It's very tongue in cheek. This is a great opportunity to have a go at something different and take the mickey out of myself and hopefully people will watch it and think it's funny.

"I love the fact that everyone calls me Duncan-From-Blue on the show," he laughs, "because that's what people call me! They come up to me and don't say It's Duncan James', or There's that guy Duncan'. They come right up to my face and say Hi Duncan-From-Blue'."

We can see it now, the priest committing the body of Duncan From Blue to the earth.

"Oh God, I hope not," he shudders. "I hope I've laid to rest that title well and truly by then. I wasn't born Duncan From Blue."

The entertainer is certainly doing his best to leave the band behind him. For a start, he states vociferously that he won't be getting back together with the lads, despite tabloid rumours to the contrary.

He loved it, but says now: "I'm at a place in my life where I wouldn't want to go back, even if it means I was skint and didn't have a job. I'd rather go into management, or producing and directing. I don't want to step back into that life again."

Instead, he has presented on GMTV and The National Lottery, as well as getting to the grand final of Dancing On Ice. He also just finished a well-received run as shyster lawyer Billy Flynn in stage musical Chicago.

Although he admits nerves meant he spent the first three weeks "like a little rabbit, running to my dressing room" until he eventually felt confident enough to be himself.

"I used to do lots of cheeky little things," he remembers. "When I had to do a scene with one of the girls I deliberately ate a fish dinner just before so my breath stank of fish. I talked to her right in her face and blew it at her. Then I ate a load of garlic and stank everybody out on stage.

"It actually got to the point where it was so bad all the actors wouldn't come near me. They were all doing their scenes from really far away!"

The show's big time producers obviously didn't get close enough to notice. Duncan has just returned from meeting with them in New York and is in moves to make his Broadway debut.

"They want to bring me to do it on Broadway. They're really excited about bringing me over, making a story out of it and getting on the telly there. I'm waiting to see what happens."

America remains an unknown quantity for Duncan, because Blue never released a record there. He says he enjoys the anonymity, and that a business trip to Los Angeles (where he owns a house) came unstuck when "I actually ended up not being bothered to work. I just wanted to chill out and have friends over."

Still, he says: "I really want to work on Broadway. First it was the West End and now I've done that. I want to go to Broadway and the after that, I'd love to do a show in Las Vegas.

"I love gambling," he adds, enthusiastically. "Me and an ex-girlfriend went to Vegas on holiday. She was really annoyed with me because I kept winning. She went to the toilet and I put a dollar in the Wheel Of Fortune. She came out and I had all this security around me and they were counting a thousand bucks into my hand."

Luckily, he keeps his gambling under control - although he has enjoyed a brief flirtation with online poker. "That's just dangerous," he says. "I deleted it from my machine, because I see how you can get addicted. I'm quite sensible like that."

He's not lying. While other stars fritter their cash away on partying and pointless extravagances, Duncan invested in property and now owns five houses. In fact, it's this fierce sense of responsibility to his loved ones that might stymie his ambitions abroad. Namely, two-year-old daughter Tianie, whose mum, ex-girlfriend Claire Grainger he remains close to.

Duncan's mother Fiona Inglis and father Simon Roscoe met in Swanage, but separated before they knew she was pregnant. Brought up by his mother in Bournemouth, Blandford and Devon, Duncan remains estranged from his father and has only ever spoken to him on the phone.

"Parenthood was something I never expected at this age," he says. "It was out of the blue, pardon the pun. She's going to be three in February and it's just crazy, because I'm having conversations with her now. It's amazing.

"She's a little madam," he continues. "I think she's going be a really successful manager or businesswoman. It must be quite strange for her seeing her daddy on the telly. When I come on, she runs up to it and kisses me, waves and says why isn't daddy talking about me'. She doesn't realise that if I'm presenting the Lottery, I can't just talk about her and wave to her!"