Gavin & Stacey's James Corden and Mathew Horne's 'feud' - what really happened

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James Corden as Smithy and Mathew Horne as Gavin in BBC sitcom Gavin & Stacey -Credit:BABY COW

Fans of the beloved series Gavin & Stacey are in for a treat as the show gears up for a festive return with a Christmas special. This much-anticipated event promises to bring viewers back to the charming world of Barry Island with the Wests and the Shipmans' life in Essex, but it also heralds the reunion of Mathew Horne and James Corden.

The pair, who became fast friends after meeting on the set of Gavin & Stacey, a hit series penned by Corden and Ruth Jones, seemed to embody the perfect comedic duo, mirroring their on-screen friendship off-screen during the peak of the show's success. Yet, following the wrap-up of the third series in 2009, Horne and Corden ventured into several ventures that failed to impress. Their relationship appeared to cool off, leading many to speculate about a possible rift between them.

In the wake of these events, they launched the comedy series Horne & Corden in 2009, which was met with harsh criticism. The Guardian slammed the show as "crude, crass and unfunny.", reports the Mirror. They also starred together in the film Lesbian Vampire Killers, which similarly missed the mark. Try WalesOnline Premium for FREE by clicking here for no ads, fun puzzles and brilliant new features

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Reflecting on those projects, Corden told The Mail on Sunday in 2015: "I don't disagree with a lot of what people said at the time. You know when you've done something well or badly, deep down. That show wasn't good enough, simple as that. The film we did at the same time, Lesbian Vampire Killers, is atrocious. Then we hosted the Brits together and we were so poor I can't even watch it."

The duo ceased working together shortly thereafter, with Horne pursuing acting on British television and Corden finding acclaim on the West End stage before taking over as host of the Late Late Show in the US in 2015. Rumours of a rift between them were fuelled by Corden's 2011 interview on Piers Morgan's Life Stories, where Morgan probed if Corden still spoke to his former partner.

"Err, we talk occasionally, yeah," was Corden's response. When Morgan revealed "We asked him to take part in this programme and he chose not to" Corden appeared taken aback and said: "I didn't know that, but I can understand."

He elaborated: "We never fell out, it was never that. We were one person for a long time. If I have one regret, it was we just rushed those things. We did our own sketch show but the reaction was fierce. It was hard to go through that. We were riding this amazing wave and then it just dropped. In one year we spent 263 days together and we went from that to nothing."

In a candid chat with The Times, Horne addressed the rumours about a fallout, saying: "That's where the rumour that we'd fallen out started and it snowballed from there. I didn't go on that show because I was filming out of London, and they could only film my interview on one day, and I couldn't do it. The other reason is that I dislike Piers Morgan and everything he stands for." He went on to clarify the situation further: "The truth is that there was never any rift and everything is fine. James and I have always been friends and we always will be."

Fans were relieved as this confirmation came ahead of the duo joining forces again with fellow cast members Ruth Jones as Nessa, Joanna Page as Stacey, and Rob Brydon as Bryn for the much-loved 2019 Christmas special. In a treat for fans this festive season, the cast is set to return for what promises to be a hilarious final episode. You can keep up to date with the latest TV and showbiz news by signing up to the newsletter here.