The REAL reason James Corden is hosting Friends reunion: Star’s production company is revealed to be behind TV special – as he calls gig a ‘privilege’ after being slated by fans
James Corden’s production company is behind Friends: The Reunion, it has been revealed, as irate fans continue to question his involvement in the TV special.
The British TV personality was unveiled as the presenter of the highly anticipated TV special this week, and will be seen holding court as Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, David Schwimmer, Matt LeBlanc get back together onscreen.
And it has now been revealed that the HBO one-off has been directed and executive produced by Ben Winston, who also serves as co-executive producer of The Late Late Show With James Corden.
Privileged: James Corden has revealed he feels ‘privileged’ to have hosted the retrospective Friends: The Reunion, which is set to hit screens next week
Winston produced the show through Fulwell 73, which Corden, 42, joined in 2017, making him the fifth full-time partner of the TV, film and music production firm.
Headquartered in London, where it was founded, the company boasts a sizeable outpost in Los Angeles, where Corden currently resides.
The revelation comes as Corden revealed he feels ‘privileged’ to host the retrospective, which is set to hit screens next week.
However, his involvement in the one-off project has ignited fury among a number of dedicated fans of the classic sitcom, who questioned why he was selected.
Back together: He will be seen holding court as Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, and David Schwimmer get back together onscreen
Appearing on This Morning on Thursday as he promoted his movie Peter Rabbit 2, Corden told Alison Hammond: ‘I can’t tell you much, I’m afraid…
‘It’s peppered with lots of different people popping in and out, but really it’s a celebration of the unbelievable chemistry between that cast.
‘It’s a big nostalgic look back at this group of characters that mean so much to so many people… but I can’t tell you much more than that, only that I was privileged to be asked to be part of it, you know.’
As seen in the teaser, Corden has landed the plum role of talking to the series’ legendary stars as they reunite.
Interview: The British TV presenter was interviewed by Alison Hammond for ITV’s This Morning
Rabbiting on: During their chat, they joked about carrots, as Corden promoted Peter Rabbit 2
‘The Friends reunion is not a musical. Yet James Corden’s in it. Why? And when will this man be stopped?’ one fan tweeted.
Another said: ‘How did James Corden worm his way into the Friends reunion, does America know that he doesn’t have to be in everything?’
Other fans of the show questioned why stars of the show like Paul Rudd or Maggie Wheeler (who played Janice) could not have been put on hosting shows, as they have strong links to the classic series.
In 2014, late night host Jimmy Kimmel put together a mini Friends reunion with Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow and Courteney Cox, and others suggested he would have been a better fit.
Wrong choice? Friends fans react in fury as Corden is revealed to be host of the reunion special… and question what the British star has to do with the iconic show (pictured in 2018)
Outcry: Fans of Friends were less than impressed when the celebrity host was revealed to be James Corden
‘It should have been Paul Rudd and Christina Applegate on the guest starring Friends reunion but we got Bieber & James Corden,’ another said.
Last week it was revealed that Friends: The Reunion would include a slew of special guest stars including Justin Bieber, BTS, Cindy Crawford, Cara Delevingne, Lady Gaga and returning cast members.
Many fans had already reacted negatively to those stars, once again questioning what they have to do with the show – and appeared to be pining from other guests stars who would have been better choices.
Corden, who reached superstardom with his BBC comedy Gavin and Stacey, went on to crack the US when he landed a role hosting The Late Late Show, and is loved by A-List stars.
Getting stuck in: Corden is seen hosting the all-important reunion interview with stars Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Matthew Perry, Lisa Kudrow, David Schwimmer and Matt LeBlanc
Could they BE anymore disappointed? Fans were quick to crank out the memes on Twitter in reaction to the news
The Friends: The Reunion official trailer showed the unbreakable bond between the cast as they reminisced on the iconic show ahead of HBO Max special, when it was released on Wednesday.
The opening scene was certainly familiar as Jennifer Aniston joined Courteney Cox and Matt LeBlanc on their old couch for an updated trivia game with David Schwimmer, Lisa Kudrow and Matthew Perry.
Recreating a memorable moment from the show, David’s character, Ross Geller, stood at the trivia board.
‘Rachel wrote Ross a letter and demanded he read it before they got back together. How many pages was that letter?’ he asked the group.
Mean tweets: Sadly it was not a good day for Corden on Twitter
Why the random stars? It’s not just Corden, the reunion show also features Justin Bieber
Matt, who played Joey Tribbiani, screamed ’18 pages’ only for Aniston to correct him: ‘front and back!’
Courteney screamed back, ‘Wait, wait do it one more time!’ Lisa Kudrow was overwhelmed upon walking onto set at the Warner Bros. lot as Matt enthusiastically said: ‘Here we go!’
Jennifer, who played Rachel Green, proved to be already emotional as she asked: ‘Where’s the tissue box?’
‘Does Courteney still have her lines written on the table?’ Matt asked as he toured the old apartment set.
‘We have such a bond from this show,’ Lisa explained while sitting on the iconic orange couch from the show’s intro.
Like the old days: And the Friends: The Reunion official trailer showed the unbreakable bond between the cast as they reminisced on the iconic show ahead of HBO Max special
Memories: The opening scene was certainly familiar as Jennifer Aniston joined Courteney Cox and Matt LeBlanc on their old couch for an updated trivia game with David Schwimmer, Lisa Kudrow and Matthew Perry
‘Were Ross and Rachel on a break?’ host James Corden asked the group, to which Jennifer and Courteney yelled ‘yes!’
Matt picked up his cup of coffee and muttered ‘bulls***’ under his breath while David laughed and pointed.
Lisa admitted the first table read was the ‘first time I laid eyes on any of you’ while Schwimmer noted everyone was ‘so perfectly cast.’
‘I remember I went to the producer of the show that I was on and he said, “That show’s not going to make you a star,'” Jennifer recalled.
‘Rachel wrote Ross a letter and demanded he read it before they got back together. How many pages was that letter?’ he asked the group
Matt, who played Joey Tribbiani, screamed ’18 pages’ only for Aniston to correct him: ‘front and back!’ Courteney screamed back, ‘Wait, wait do it one more time!’
Make em laugh: Matt picked up his cup of coffee and muttered ‘bulls***’ under his breath while David laughed and pointed when asked if Ross and Rachel were actually on a break
In one of many touching moments, Jennifer leaned down to comfort Perry as he stuttered through his words and said: ‘I’m going to cry now.’
Friends ran for 10 seasons from 1994 to 2004, and was created by David Crane and Marta Kauffman, who executive produced the series with Kevin Bright through Bright/Kauffman/Crane Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television.
The Friends reunion will air on May 27 via HBO and HBO Max in the States. It has not yet been revealed how to watch the special in the UK.
Sky is reportedly the frontrunner to pick up broadcasting rights, and if successful it should air on the network the following evening (May 28).
Matthew Perry sparks fan concern as he slurs his words in new promo
Fans of Friends are expressing their concern after star Matthew Perry appeared to slur his speech in a promo for the upcoming reunion special.
It was hard to overlook Perry’s awkward demeanor as he sat with he co-stars Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, David Schwimmer and Matt LeBlanc to tease the show, which was shot in April and will air on May 27 via HBO and HBO Max.
The 51-year-old actor stammered and stared while with the group, even slurring together his words at one point.
Worrisome: Matthew Perry raised concerns after appearing to slur his speech in a teaser for the upcoming Friends reunion, which airs later this month
Perry has been open about his past struggles with addiction, previously telling People things got ‘out of control and very unhealthy’ after a 1997 jet-ski accident left him addicted to the painkiller Vicodin.
In the promo, when asked if he ever took anything from set as a souvenir, he admitted: ‘I stole the cookie jar that had the clock on it’ with a heavy ‘sh’ sound at the start of ‘stole.’
Though his speech was stilted, Matthew’s physical appearance was on the healthier side, showing less ruddy skin and a pearly white smile.
His castmates were able to hide any of their concerns, as David and Matt giggled and smiled at the TV star, who played Chandler Bing on the NBC hit.
Fans were concerned: The 51-year-old actor stammered and stared while with the group, even slurring together his words at one point
But fans were quick to voice their worries.
‘Just saw People interview and can’t believe how Matthew Perry looks like… seriously it breaks my heart,’ one fan wrote on Twitter.
‘It pains me to see Matthew Perry like this, he just seems off, gazing at the void, speaking slowly,’ wrote another.
Another tweeted: ‘Just watched @people exclusive interview clip of Friends casts and the time hasn’t been kind. I hope Matthew Perry is okay. Damn how much I love them.’
One more reminded others to be kind, writing: ‘Matthew has been through A LOT since friends wrapped up in 2004. be respectful instead of judgmental. hard block me rn if you think making fun of him is funny.’
Off kilter: The 51-year-old actor stammered and stared while with co-stars Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, David Schwimmer and Matt LeBlanc
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