Saturday 7 December 2019

James Corden's Smithy signs up Pele and Jose Mourinho for Sport Relief skit

James Corden's Smithy character is running for Fifa presidency as part of the next Sports Relief fundraising drive (BBC/PA)
James Corden's Smithy character is running for Fifa presidency as part of the next Sports Relief fundraising drive (BBC/PA)

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, Corden also appeared alongside former England international Steven Gerrard and the Special One himself, ex-Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho.

The sketch depicts Smithy announcing his intention to run for Fifa president this month.

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!

"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, born Edson Arantes do Nascimento, 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.

Corden, 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 February 20 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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