‘Okay to feel anxious’: Corden’s lockdown confession

James Corden is the first to admit he's no garage band rocker.

In fact, filming a COVID-19 crisis comedy special from the basement of his luxury Los Angeles home is "the first time I've ever done any work in this garage".

But these are strange times indeed, and as millions work through the first weeks of being ordered to stay home, the UK funnyman thought it time he opened the doors to his home and gathered together his famous friends for a TV special like no other.

While his late night talk show is currently off the air - impacted by the staff stand downs of CBS crews due to coronavirus - the Gavin & Stacey star felt he had to do his bit to lift spirits and entertain those isolated from their loved ones.


James Corden’s new TV project HomeFest was shot remotely during coronavirus lockdown.
James Corden’s new TV project HomeFest was shot remotely during coronavirus lockdown.


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And so, using Skype-style technology, Corden pulled together an impressive live playlist. John Legend at the piano of his Hollywood Hills home, performing a rare acoustic rendition of his new track, Actions.

Anchorman's Will Ferrell shares a hilarious handwashing video from his kitchen - taking on the songs of George Michael, Sia and Rihanna.

For fans of South Korean pop sensations BTS, there's an appearance by all seven members of the super group. Add performances by Dua Lipa; Billie Eilish (plus her brother Finneas, and two adorable puppies); and Andrea Bocelli, looking suave in a velvet tuxedo, and this is a bill like no other.

In HomeFest's heartfelt and unusually sombre opening monologue, he pays particular attention to those flying solo in this fearful time. "I know that a lot of our viewers might be watching this show on their own right now and I know that this is a strange and terrifying time, and I just want you to know that we are all in this together."




The concept, he says, is "about bringing people together to keep them apart", arguing that political divisions had eased during the pandemic.

"In many ways, in the most unique way, this virus has brought us all together. It's united us in something. This virus has shown that we are all equal. We are all simply human."

In an emotional goodbye, Corden admits he has struggled to contain his emotions during the enforced hibernation.


Jimmy Kimmel and James Corden. Picture: Getty Images
Jimmy Kimmel and James Corden. Picture: Getty Images

"I have found myself having these spikes of anxiety and sadness when I've allowed myself to think about my family back home in England, or my friends and people I love."

Giving himself permission to feel "out of control and overwhelmed with sadness," he extends the same message to his viewers, telling them/ "the truth is, it's okay … it's all right, right now to feel a bit sad. It's okay to feel anxious and the best thing we could all do is try to breathe through that and put our minds in a positive place and think, 'what can I do to help someone else who may be feeling like this?'

"And just by me talking to you has made me feel lighter."

HomeFest: James Corden's Late Late Show Special, 8.30pm, Sunday April 5, 10.

Originally published as 'Okay to feel anxious': Corden's lockdown confession