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Ready or not, The Bachelor Season 25 with Matt James is finally here. And naturally, fans are itching to find out more about the newcomer to the franchise, from his age to his life beyond the reality series. So how old is James from The Bachelor 2021? The lead just celebrated his birthday a few weeks before the big premiere.

The age and birthday of Matt James from ‘The Bachelor’ 2021

Matt James from 'The Bachelor' Season 25
Matt James from ‘The Bachelor’ 2021 | Billy Kidd via Getty Images

James was born on Dec. 5, 1991. So the new bachelor is currently 29-years-old. That said, James was 28-years-old while filming The Bachelor. The 25th season was filmed at Farmington, Pennsylvania’s Nemacolin Woodlands Resort. And according to Us Weekly, it’s likely production booked the resort from mid-September through November 2020.

Meanwhile, James was able to celebrate his 29th birthday outside of The Bachelor bubble. Per Bachelor Nation, the next lead went to a Miami Dolphins football game with his close friend and The Bachelorette Season 15 star, Tyler Cameron. James also celebrated his birthday with a photo alongside Instagram sensation Doug the Pug.

“Only party animal I get to celebrate with this year,” James captioned a photo of himself holding the pup.

Matt James hasn’t been on any ‘Bachelor’ spinoffs

In case you didn’t know, James hasn’t been on The Bachelor franchise before. The reality star was picked up for The Bachelorette Season 16 with Clare Crawley. Then fans got to know James on social media, as he is friends with Cameron and The Bachelorette Season 15 star Hannah Brown. But when production for Crawley’s season was postponed, the franchise announced James as the first Black bachelor. 

“Whenever you’re the first to do something, then you’re kind of setting the standard,” James told USA Today ahead of The Bachelor Season 25 premiere. “But what I try to remind myself of is that my experience is my own.”

He later added, “Hopefully, me being in this position normalizes this for other people of color. And in the future, when there is a Black bachelor, it’s not like, ‘Oh, welcome, Keith, the next Black bachelor.’ It’s, ‘Welcome, Keith, who happens to be black’ or ‘Welcome, Keith, who happens to be Asian.'”

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While James is new to The Bachelor franchise, the reality star has plenty of accomplishments under his belt already. According to his Bachelor profile, James is a real estate broker, entrepreneur, and community organization founder. 

The 29-year-old co-founded ABC Food Tours, a nonprofit organization that aims to teach kids in underprivileged communities how to live healthier lifestyles, both physically and mentally. James is based in New York City now. But he is from Raleigh, North Carolina. 

James also studied economics at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where he met Cameron. The new bachelor played football for the school. And according to his football roster profile from 2014, James is 6 feet, 5 inches tall.

For now, Bachelor Nation fans will just have to wait and see how James’ story unfolds when season 25 starts on Monday, Jan. 4. But whatever happens next, it certainly looks like the lead is ready for the next step in his life.

“Absolutely [I’m ready for marriage],” James told Entertainment Tonight in January 2021. “That’s why I came out there. And I don’t think that anyone is more so ready or not, it’s something that you just know when you experience it.”