James Hiller Blount was born on 22 February 1974 at an army hospital in Tidworth in the county of Hampshire (the town was later transferred to Wiltshire). He is the first of three children to Colonel Charles Blount and Jane Ann Farran Blount (née Amos). His father was a cavalry officer in the 13th/18th Royal Hussars and then a helicopter pilot and colonel of the Army Air Corps. The Blount family has a long history of military service, dating back to King Gorm of Denmark ever since their Danish ancestors arrived in England in the 10th century. Like his father, Blunt is a pilot, gaining his fixed winged private pilot licence aged and has a keen interest in motorcycles.