The 44-year-old stars in new TV show The Great Indoors, playing an adventure journalist who must adjust to working in an office with younger colleagues when his magazine becomes a website. In the pilot episode Joel ends up holding a baby bear in one scene, which despite looking adorable, proved to be a difficult task behind the scenes.

“It’s like having a child with claws, and here’s the thing... I held this bear, and the trainer’s like, ‘Now the bear is very docile but after a little bit bears, and pigs, if you pick them up, believe they are going to die.’ They think, ‘Oh, I shouldn’t be carried, I’m going to leave now,’” he explained on Wednesday night’s (02Nov16) The Late Late Show with James Corden. “And then it bit me on the arm. Which was fine... Then I dropped the bear out of pain – hold on, hold on; then they go, ‘Don’t worry, it falls out of trees from 30ft, that was nothing,’ and the bear just looked at me like, ‘Is that it?’”

Joel also spoke about his new project in an interview with Entertainment Weekly last week (ends30Oct16), revealing the same bear has since gained 300 pounds and would now be able to kill him in a matter of seconds.

British actor Stephen Fry makes a cameo in the programme and Joel was so surprised by the casting that he initially thought it was an error.

“I thought it was a mistake, and I assume he’d been blackmailed into it somehow,” he recalled to Entertainment Weekly. “He clearly doesn’t need the money, and he has a very good reputation and does not want to dilute that by being on screen with me. I was like, 'Why are you doing it?' and he was like (in British accent), 'Oh, I thought it would be fun!' And I was like, 'YOU’RE STEPHEN FRY.'”