- Peter Anderton, factory manager at Brown's Textiles where both Vera Duckworth and Ivy Tilsley vied for a single vacancy in September 1989
- TV repairman Frank Gregson in September 1990
- DS Cartwright in March 1995
- Corrupt council planning officer John Sinclair in October and December 2000
- DI Mannery between January and February 2003
- DS Willets between March 2013 and May 2018.
Besides acting, Quinn is the creator of the acclaimed comedy series Sir Ralph Stanza's Jail Diaries, based on the egotistical poet - three series of which were broadcast on Radio 4. He was selected for the BBC's first new Comedy Writer's Apprenticeship, as part of which he was commissioned to write an original television sitcom pilot. He has also written for a number of radio shows including The In Crowd and was writer-in-residence at Strangeways Jail in 2000. He wrote and directed a live show called At the End of the Day, satirising TV football coverage. It received great reviews in "The Independent" and "Manchester Evening News".
Other TV and film credits include roles in The New Statesman, Waterfront Beat, Sleepers, Stay Lucky, Cracker, Hollyoaks, Butterfly Collectors, Holby City, Dalziel and Pascoe, Mersey Beat, Early Doors, Shameless, Fat Friends, Heartbeat, New Street Law, Drop Dead Gorgeous, Casualty, The Street, Doctors, The Bill, Lunch Monkeys, Scott & Bailey, Emmerdale, In with the Flynns and Fresh Meat.
James was married to fellow Street actress Sue Cleaver from 1993-2003.