It’s been a busy year for much-loved television personality James Corden. His Sky1 panel show A League of Their Own was awarded a Bafta back in May, he’s been pictured working hard to shift those stubborn pounds, and he and wife Julia have recently excitedly announced they’re soon to be parents for a second time.
However, in and amongst that little lot, the comedian and actor has still managed to find time to try and rid the smug-as-ever banker of all his monies, and has filmed a stint on a celeb special of Deal or No Deal.
There was a time not so long back when it was thought the banker had the best job in his industry. After all, he’d got plenty of cash to throw around, and nobody knew his identity. That was outed a few years back, but the fact still remains that he, presenter Noel Edmonds and a perfectly unique game format have ensured this game show is a genuine TV juggernaut. Who would have thought that watching strangers opening boxes would be so exciting?
Perhaps it’s the expert stewardship of Noel which means that the intensity never drops. Chummy, friendly and occasionally just a little naughty, the most famous of beard-wearers clearly loves every minute of his time on the show.
Noel recently explained to Gameshow Central just why he’s devoted nine years of his life to the programme: “The players. Every single player is different and therefore they personalise “their” show. They come with differing hopes and expectations and I am always fascinated how these dreams translate into their performance on the day.”
But he insists that anybody keen to take on the banker should come with game plan, explaining: “Technique is obviously everything. As you know Deal is not a game of luck. The cerebral approach is vital. Come with a carefully crafted, well-practised system such as the numbers from a Chinese take-away menu which to this day is still my favourite system. I seem to recall the quarter million was in the prawn balls.”
But what approach will James take, as he tackles the famous boxes with the help of his friends and family sat in the audience? Not that their presence will ease the pressure any - it looks like a lonely place sat up there in the ‘crazy chair’ and deliberating whereabouts the big bucks are.
James is hoping to clinch that £250,000 jackpot for the Terrence Higgins Trust and Save the Children, but his success all depends on whether the banker’s feeling particularly charitable or not.
And here’s a heads-up - One Direction fans should keep an eye out for a treat; the boys will be sending a good luck message to their friend.
But even if James doesn’t manage to suss out where the full whack is hidden, something tells us he’s going to have fun trying.
JAMES CORDEN DOES DEAL OR NO DEAL, Channel 4, Friday 8pm