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It's actually a good thing that Carpool Karoake is faked

By Tim Robson, 27 Jan 2020 Car Opinions

James Corden fake filming

The outrage about a comedian not driving while singing with a film crew in his car is bewildering

The internet is a weird microcosm of the world, isn't? The latest thing blowing people's metaphorical skirts up is the fact that a 'comedian' (I use the term VERY loosely) has been 'busted' (again: loosely) while filming a segment for his bewilderingly popular show in a safe and responsible manner.

But they FEEL BETRAYED or somesuch, because the segment is called Carpool Karaoke, and the premise of the segment is that the comedian - UK-born James Corden - sings songs with guests that are paid to come on to sing their latest chart hit (or whatever - I've never really taken a blind bit of notice, to be transparent).

But imagery on the interwebs shows Corden and his team aboard a Range Rover mounted on a trailer rig while filming a segment with Jason Beiber. Or Justin. Not sure which.

The outraaaage comes from the fact that fans of the series are feeling betrayed that the host isn't doing what the segment says on the tin - driving a car with a star while assassinating a pop song.


Do people want to share a freeway with a car jammed full of camera operators, sound people and a pop star's ego while a dodgy Pommy chat show host navigates traffic? Not I, said the fly. 

The clip in question shows the Rangie up on a tow dolly in front of what the movie industry calls an insert truck. This allows the control of the car to be handed over to a professional driver, while Corden concentrates on being not very funny with his guests. 

The crazy rig used to film Ford V Ferrari's wildest scenes

As part of our daily lives at WhichCar, we do a lot of filming for social channels and, of course, for WhichCar TV. Now, don't tell my boss, but I stress out a lot when it comes to doing what we call pieces to camera - basically talking to one or more cameras mounted in the car while actually driving.

I struggle with ad-lib style narration, so I need to learn lines before I get in the car. I also have the memory of a baby meerkat, so trying to get lines right, driving a car and looking not terrible for telly is a bit of a struggle.

WhichCar Season Two preview

Our film team, too, would love nothing better than to be able to mount more cameras and sticky things on a car that's in a controlled environment.

Of course, safety is at the front of mind for us, and we do a lot of filming driving around empty race tracks for our PTCs.

In-car cameras WhichCar TV

A set-up from a recent WhichCar TV shoot (Tim Robson)

Distracted driving is a real thing, and I reckon that James Corden is doing exactly the right thing - remove the act of driving from the act of being a poor man's David Letterman, and while the segments will still, sadly, be put to air, they'll be created in a much safer way.

I wrote about Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson filming a school bus while driving a few months back, and no one batted an eye. Just because he's a successful movie actor, he should get a free pass on safe driving? Why doesn't he use his enormous social media profile to campaign against distracted driving.

James Corden may be a singularly terrible talk show host, but he's doing the exact right thing here.