Page last updated at 11:45 GMT, Friday, 18 April 2008 12:45 UK

Talking Shop: James Corden

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James Corden on being friends with Rio Ferdinand, rubbing bellies with Noel Gallagher and the future of Gavin and Stacey.

Gavin and Stacey, the story of how a nice boy from Essex and a sweet girl from Barry fell in love and got married, has been a massive hit comedy for BBC Three.

It has been nominated for an Audience Award at Sunday's Baftas, and earned star James Corden a nod for best comedy performance.

Corden, who also wrote the comedy with co-star Ruth Jones, has won huge acclaim for his role as Gavin's best mate Smithy.

And his increasingly high profile means he is now a tabloid favourite.


How does it feel to be nominated for not one, but two Bafta awards?

It feels great. It's terrific. No-one has a right to be nominated for anything so we are overjoyed that we have been. For our little show to be up against those massive, massive iconic TV shows - like Strictly Come Dancing - is great.

Have you voted for yourself?

Of course! I voted online, but you can only vote once, unfortunately.

So did you get your granny to vote too?

It would take so long to explain to my granny what online is and talk her through it. It would be better to buy another computer and vote again.

What are your favourite comedies?

The Royle Family for me changed everything for me, and the Office and early Phoenix Nights. But before then there was Porridge, Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, and Open All Hours.

Ronnie Barker is the real hero for me. I don't think we've ever had a better comedy actor on TV.

Gavin and Stacey
Gavin and Stacey has been a huge hit for BBC Three

What about Rob Brydon, stars with you in Gavin and Stacey?

He's just great. He's good at being funny and his exploration of characters is unique.

Rob's sort of like a swan on our show. He looks like he's just gliding but actually he's working all the time for it to be that funny.

Did you ever think Gavin and Stacey would be this successful?

We always thought we were making something that might be good, but not that it would have this much impact on the people who watch it.

I found out the other day that people have Nessa ringtones with her going: "Oh, what's occurring?" That to me is ridiculous! That people would want to be part of the show, or the show to be part of them is amazing.

How important has BBC Three been to the success of Gavin and Stacey?

I am such a firm believer in everything BBC Three does. It gets a lot of stick for a lot of things, but what people don't realise is how important it is for nurturing talent.

John Humphrys said that BBC Three should be abolished because they make TV shows no-one watches. Well, our show gets 1.8 million viewers, which is quite a lot of people. Him talking about BBC Three is like him reviewing CBeebies.

This not a channel for him, it is not a channel that he should even ever watch. In fact, if he doesn't watch it, and he doesn't like it, it is doing everything it should.

This channel is a learning ground and, if it gets it right, it could potentially provide the next 20 years of TV writers, performers, producers and directors, who will go on and make brilliant television for BBC One and BBC Two.

It gives them the chance to learn and make mistakes without the pressure of ratings and all of those things. It's there for people to have a shot.

The History Boys
Corden starred in the original production of The History Boys

You're all over the newspapers at the moment. Apparently you've been rubbing bellies with Noel Gallagher. How do you cope with all the attention?

It doesn't feel like my life has changed in any great detail, but I guess from the outside it may look like that. It's just very odd, and surreal at times, but I can't complain about it.

You've been pictured with a bevvy of beauties, from Lily Allen to Agyness Deyn. What makes James Corden so irresistible to women?

You tell me! You're obviously very attracted to me right now.

I can't control myself...

I don't know, I don't know! I don't know! I didn't know I was.

But you must have seen those internet forums set up by women who find you attractive?

I'm aware of it. It's odd because it feels like people are asking me why I think I'm attractive, and what they mean is: "What's that about, because you're obviously not hot." No-one is asking Brad Pitt that question.

And what about Lily Allen..?

What about Lily Allen?

The tabloids say you're an item and you've asked her to be in the third series of Gavin and Stacey.

I have never talked to her about it! It's just all made up - everything! She is just a mate of mine that I have gone out with a couple of times. It's nothing like the tabloids say.

And can we expect a third series of Gavin and Stacey?

I don't know. We are making a Christmas special and after then we'll see.

James Corden was speaking to BBC News entertainment reporter Caroline Briggs. The British Academy Television Awards can be seen on Sunday 20 April at 2000 BST on BBC One.

Voting for the audience award is open until 1700BST on 19 April at www.bestonthebox.com.



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