James Corden: Smithy from Gavin & Stacey returning to our screens!

Good news Gavin & Stacey fans. James Corden has teamed up with World Cup-winning footballers Pele and Sir Geoff Hurst for a special sketch as part of Sport Relief 2016.

The host of hit US series The Late Late Show reprised his Gavin & Stacey character Neil “Smithy” Smith in the BBC iPlayer exclusive.

As Smithy, James also appeared alongside former England international Steven Gerrard and the Special One himself, ex-Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho!

Sir Geoff Hurst, James Corden and Steven Gerrard in Sport Relief sketch

Sir Geoff Hurst, James Corden and Steven Gerrard in the Sport Relief sketch (Tyler White/BBC)

The sketch depicts Smithy announcing his intention to run for Fifa president. In a speech recalling past football years and players, Smithy mentions England’s World Cup-winning captain Bobby Moore and former England captain David Beckham.

He also references the famous photo of hardman footballer Vinnie Jones grabbing Paul Gascoigne by the testes.

“I want to go back to a simpler time,” he says. “Bobby Moore swapping shirts with Pele, Gazza and Vinnie messing about on the pitch, classic!”

James Corden, Sir Geoff Hurst and Steven Gerrard

James, Steven and Sir Geoff in character (Tyler White/BBC)

“Becks pinging in that free kick against Greece, Sir Geoff Hurst winning us the World Cup in ’66. These are the times I can take us back to. Vote Smithy for FIFA president.”

Some of football’s greatest names then come out in support of the Essex decorator’s vision for the future of the beautiful game. Pele is heard saying: “I will not be running for the position of Fifa president because there’s a better man for the job. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you my choice to be the next president of Fifa: Neil Smith. Or, as he is known around the world, Smithy.”

Mourinho, who is playing Smithy’s campaign manager, adds: “Winston Churchill, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela. Three of the most inspirational leaders of our time, but I don’t think any of them could save football like Neil Smith. Please, Vote Smithy for president, and make him the new ‘special one’.”


Smithy also relates his intention to bring back teams recording FA Cup songs.

“I’m talking Crystal Palace giving it Glad All Over, The Anfield Rap, Man Utd’s Move Move Move. Yes, a terrible song, a disgrace to music, but it connected us as fans with the players.

“Under my regime every Football League club must record a song and a video full of banter every single season,” he says.

James Corden

James Corden (Dominic Lipinski/PA)


Superstar James, 37, has previously lent his support to Sport Relief and Comic Relief as his Gavin & Stacey character.

One-off sketches filmed include the England team motivational speech in 2009, in which Smithy advised Frank Lampard to pass to Gerrard.

A year later, the Gavin & Stacey favourite popped up at the Sports Personality Of The Year and gave his view of the contenders.


In 2011, Smithy was at the centre of a star-studded line-up of a sketch that included Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Lenny Henry, George Michael, Justin Bieber and Lord Coe. Diver Tom Daley, Keira Knightley, Clare Balding, former prime minister Gordon Brown and Harry Potter actors Rupert Grint and Tom Felton also featured.

This latest sketch will go live on BBC iPlayer at 7.15pm on Sunday night before being shown during BBC One’s Sport Relief night on March 18.

Sport Relief is raising money to make a difference to lives here in the UK and across the world’s poorest communities.

Watch the sketch here.

Donate to Sport Relief here.

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