The Late Late Show host was joined by the 71-year-old singer for Carpool Karaoke in 2015 when Stevie called his wife, producer Julia Carey, to sing I Just Called To Say I Love You down the phone.
James thought it would be a magical moment but he recently revealed on The Ellen DeGeneres Show that Julia – who he married in 2012 – was actually in a bathroom at a restaurant when she picked up the phone.
‘What’s on TV was really moving, I couldn’t help but be overwhelmed with it,’ James told Ellen. ‘So much of my life, I just think, “if this was an auction prize, this would go for millions of dollars”.
‘Stevie Wonder is going to call your wife and sing “I just called to say James loves you”.
‘I don’t know what I’ve done to deserve so many memories.’
It wasn’t until James got home that day that he found out the situation was a little less romantic for his wife.
‘I had this gorgeous image of her being completely overwhelmed with emotion but she was literally in a toilet at a restaurant,’ he explained.
‘And I’m glad I didn’t know that at the time because it was so moving when it happened in real life.’
Carpool Karaoke – which features stars belting out their hits while being driven around by James – has been on hiatus amid the pandemic.
James joked CBS Television City – where The Late Late Show is filmed in Los Angeles – is ‘the strictest building, maybe on Earth’ but he remains hopeful Carpool Karaoke could be back sooner rather than later.
‘I don’t know really, we wonder when someone will tell us it’s OK. I don’t know, I’m hopeful for the end of summer or autumn time that we’ll be able to do it again,’ he said.
‘It feels like there’s a whole raft of artists that we’re desperate to do it with that have had the most incredible last few years.’
James added: ‘I hope so much we’ll be able to do it before the end of the year. I hope.’
Former One Direction singer Niall Horan was the most recent celeb to make an appearance in a March 2020 episode shortly before Covid-19 brought the world to a standstill.
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