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07th Mar 2018

Harry Kane and England squad to recreate iconic Gavin & Stacey sketch

"Crouchy, when I look at you... everything tells me that you should be rubbish at football"

Kyle Picknell

You’ve got to hold and give, but do it at the right time.

Once upon a time long before James Corden had developed his over-zealous laughing, yet alone exported it to America, he starred as Smithy in the beloved British sitcom Gavin & Stacey. He did it well. Whilst the scene in which Smithy passionately explains everything that is wrong with sharing takeaways amongst a group of people remains the true artistic peak of Corden’s career to date, there is another one you might remember.

For 2009’s Comic Relief Smithy gave an impromptu speech for the England squad, who had missed the Euro 2008 finals the previous summer, addressing the team’s issues that were as widespread as Peter Crouch’s “lack of robot celebration” right through to David James simply being our number one goalkeeper and getting lots of haircuts. Becks was there. JT. Rio. Frank. Cashley. Shaun Wright-Phillips for some reason. Michael Carrick too. He didn’t say a word. It was great, and ended with a spoken-word ‘World in Motion’ rendition that was enough to make your heart soar.


Well, apparently it’s happening again with Scouse comedian John Bishop taking Smithy’s place. He’ll address Harry Kane and his squad as they begin preparations for this year’s World Cup in Russia, hopefully getting the boys fired up enough to finally take on the world’s best sides, like Iceland.

Will he tell Jesse Lingard to stop dabbing? Will he tell Jamie Vardy to please, please put down the VKs for a couple of weeks for the good of the team? Will he look Phil Jones in the eye and beg him to stop playing football like a horse falling down some stairs? Harry Maguire, with his head like a block of flats, could surely use a fiery pep-talk for his first international tournament, too.

There’s a lot of pressure on this, Bishop. Don’t mess it up. You won’t be completely at fault if we crash out in the first knockout stage, but you will be partially to blame. You will, I’m afraid, be packed off to America if we underperform. I’m not kidding. Ask Corden.