Nice piece by James Corden on Andy here
"He is the most unassuming elite sportsman I have ever met": James Corden on Andy Murray
To mark Andy Murray's second week in Wimbledon and today's match against Mikhail Youzhny, here are James Corden's thoughts on his friend and occasional on-screen tennis partner.
GQ: When did you first meet Andy Murray?
James Corden: I think it was when we did the Sport Relief sketch where my character Smithy won Coach of the Year and he plays tennis with Andy. We stayed in touch after that and he was on my World Cup show and he has been on A League Of Their Own. His girlfriend and my wife are from a similar place in the UK, so I suggested we go for dinner and we all got on like a house on fire. We've been out a few times since then, I saw him in New York last year, and I'd say we get on well. I adore him.
When you met him first of all, did you like him straight away?
I did, actually. Personally, I think he is the most unassuming elite sportsman I have ever met. For me, to be in the top five of anything in the world is such a difficult thing and he has achieved so much, and yet to meet him you would never know he was one of the world's best sportsmen. There is absolutely nothing about the way he speaks or conducts himself that says that… he just has no ego. I've never known anyone who is such an unassuming and polite guy, be so miss-represented in the eyes of the public. Ultimately, what you see with Andy is what you get... I think he might be the purest sportsman we have ever had because he is the one person that when you put them in front of a TV camera feels they have to somehow change their persona. He is just so comfortable in his own skin.
Why do you think there is a difference between the public perception and the way he is in person?
I think a lot of it comes down to how things look in print. I would say he is the type of person who doesn't suffer fools. If you are an athlete at the very top of your game, I think with the number of things you have to do you have to suffer a lot of fools. You have to spend a lot of time NOT doing the one thing you want to be doing, which in his case is play tennis. You have to do promotion and adverts and interviews and all those things. And what I think is great about him is that there is no mystery about him. He is just totally honest.
How would you say he has changed since you first met him and got to know him?
I think where I noticed a big change in him was last year, after he got to both the final in Australia and the final at Wimbledon, and he lost them both. I think a switch in him went on. I remember reading an interview with him where his coach told him to remember what those feelings were like and that he would never feel worse than this. And next time you are in this situation, remember what it was like and you won't want to repeat it. Then cut to the Olympic final, and to New York, and he wins.
I remember once we were having dinner and I asked him what it felt like to look in the mirror, look at yourself and think: "At what I do, I am the third best at it in the world"? And he said, well you don't really think like that because most of the time you are losing. Unless you win every tournament you enter, there comes a point, be it the final or semi-final or whatever, where you will lose. When you look at it like that, it is really hard because you aren't measuring your achievements so much as separating them into either winning or losing. You will lose more than you win.
Do you think the way we look at him is in a typically British way?
I do. We are the kind of country that doesn't celebrate success that much. And success is not something we really enjoy, actually. Our sporting heroes tend to be flawed… guys like Paul Gascoigne or George Best. I love Gazza but we certainly don't celebrate Paul Scholes in the same way we celebrate Gazza. And because Andy Murray doesn't have this "other" personality - which is ironic because he actually does: he has a very dry sense of humour and he is actually very funny, he just doesn't feel the need to share that with everyone - we tend not to warm to him. Take David Beckham… after the World Cup in 1998, people burnt effigies of him outside pubs. I don't think America do that. Andy goes to New York and they absolutely love him there. Purely because he is good at tennis. The British, they demand something else. For us, you being amazing at your sport is not enough. It really should be, because for the first time in decades we have a tennis player who can win grand slams and who is going to win Wimbledon very soon. There is not a doubt in my mind about that, and all those people who used to say he was grumpy, and Scottish not British, will all be lining the streets to cheer him. He's a shining light in British sport, as far as I'm concerned.
You've been out for dinner a few times… is it a classic double date where you talk to Andy and Julia talks to Kim?
I like to think we all get on as a foursome, but you are probably right! I hope not. I'll tell you, we eat in the same restaurant every single time we go out. We kept going out and we actually had a conversation about whether we should go somewhere different, and I just said, "Look, I don't know why we are messing about. We should just go back to Nobu." The funny thing is, I actually enjoy sharing food when I go out for dinner and that is how it works at Nobu. But I've noticed that with Andy, he is obsessed with these spicy tuna rolls and you can see him eyeing them up in the middle of the table, counting how many each person is eating. It's fine now, because we know just to order more to make sure he has his own little portion.
Will you tap him up for Wimbledon tickets?
Well, I have been a couple of times and I did sit in the box behind his mum once, and I loved that. It was amazing. Although my phone did go off once when he was about to serve. It wasn't a call because I had it on silent… I had set the alarm a couple of days before and it just went off. That was so tragically embarrassing.http://www.gq-magazine.co.uk/entertainment/articles/2013-07/01/andy-murray-james-corden-wimbledon