James Corden praised for intervening during flight fiasco

James Corden praised for intervening during flight fiasco

TV presenter James Corden entertained fellow passengers after they were forced to vacate a plane in Lisbon.

As images of the 45-year-old Gavin and Stacey actor looking frustrated circulated on social media, many were quick to remember his label as one New York restaurant’s “most abusive customer” – despite the owner’s U-turn on his statement.

However, one passenger on board the flight has debunked suggestions that Corden was giving anybody a hard time, and provided an insight into what really happened.

The plane Corden was on struggled to gain altitude as it left the Algarve in Portugal and was forced to circle for 45 minutes before announcing an emergency landing.

The former Late Late Show host, who recently revealed his hit sitcom Gavin and Stacey will be returning for one final episode this Christmas, is said to have entertained and posed for selfies in an attempt to keep passengers’s spirits up.

“I made a joke and went, ‘Oh if we’re all going to die, you could tell us how the Gavin and Stacey Christmas special ends?’ and he went ‘Do you really want to know?’” said a passenger named Vanessa, who saw the events unravel, in an interview with Metro.

Vanessa then said Corden hinted that a long-standing Gavin and Stacey mystery might be answered in the forthcoming special.

“He said ‘I can’t tell you, but do you want to know what happened on the fishing trip?’ and I was like ‘Yes! I do!” and he was like, ‘I can’t tell you that either.’”

“The fishing trip” is a runing joke in the sitcom referring to an unexplained event that occurred between characters Bryn (Rob brydon) and Jason (Robert Kenneth Wilfort).

Vanessa confirmed that passengers were forced to vacate the plane after an emergency landing. At this point, Corden was photographed apparently confronting a staff member – but it was revealed he was merely enquiring why they had been placed in the wrong queue upon arrival at the airport.

“We’re in the terminal and there was not a member of British Airways staff to be found. And they put us in immigration queues. And there was just no one there telling us what was going on,” she said.

James Corden (Getty Images for SiriusXM)
James Corden (Getty Images for SiriusXM)

According to Vanessa, Corden was frustrated because the group had been directed towards the wrong queue, among them families with angsty young children. The host then defended those who did not have “club flyer” status.

“James was a club flyer and he stood there, and was like ‘What about all these people who’ve got all these kids with them?’ like saying that’s not acceptable, it’s not right,” said Vanessa.

The exhausted passengers were then eventually told a flight to London was available at 9.30pm, with Corden “stood in the same queue as everybody else, doing the same things as everybody else did”.

Ruth Jones and James Corden co-wrote and starred in Gavin & Stacey (Ian Nicholson/PA) (PA Archive)
Ruth Jones and James Corden co-wrote and starred in Gavin & Stacey (Ian Nicholson/PA) (PA Archive)

In 2022, restaurant owner Keith McNally, the proprietor of Manhattan restaurant Balthazar accused Corden of being his “most abusive customer”. However, he U-turned on his stance shortly after the star apologised “profusely” for his behaviour.

The restaurateur said at the time: “James Corden just called me and apologised profusely. Having f***ed up myself more than most people, I strongly believe in second chances.

“Anyone magnanimous enough to apologise to a deadbeat layabout like me (and my staff) doesn’t deserve to be banned from anywhere. Especially Balthazar. All is forgiven.”

Corden will next be seen on stage in an Old Vic production of The Constituent alongside Anna Maxwell-Martin. Tickets are on sale now, and the play runs from 13 June to 10 August.