The Team Of A-Listers Who Helped Set Courteney Cox Up With Johnny McDaid

Like lots of couples, Courteney Cox and Johnny McDaid's relationship has seen its share of ups and downs. Cox and McDaid started dating in 2013 and got engaged in 2014. However, at the end of 2015, they broke things off and separated for a while. By 2016, the actor and musician were back together,  and in 2023, they commemorated a decade of partnership with a tribute to one of the people who set their romance in motion: Their friend Ed Sheeran

Sheeran wasn't the only one playing matchmaker. It took a group effort to bring Cox and McDaid together. After Sheeran got to know Cox, he got her permission to bring some of his friends to her house. The "Friends" star ended up hosting an A-list gathering that included Taylor Swift, McDaid, and his "Snow Patrol" bandmate Gary Lightbody, Jennifer Aniston, Sacha Baron Cohen, and Isla Fisher. Some of the guests stayed over, and when Cox saw them the next day, she felt left out when she discovered that many of them had exchanged information. 

In particular, the actor felt a spark of interest towards McDaid. "I remember seeing Johnny and going, 'Oh wow, he's really intense, he's got those eyes and he was playing the piano and I thought, 'he's really, really handsome,'" Cox recalled on "The Howard Stern Show" in 2022. Even so, she didn't act on her attraction. Instead, it took Cohen's actions to help get Cox and McDaid's relationship moving.

Courteney Cox got a second opportunity to connect with Johnny McDaid

During a screening of a film she directed, Courteney Cox found herself in Johnny McDaid's company again. When Isla Fisher suggested that one of their friends might be a good match for the musician, Cox did not want to be left out a second time. Instead, she suggested to Fisher that she should be the one to get involved with McDaid. In response, Fisher informed her husband, Sacha Baron Cohen, of Cox's romantic interest in the musician. Speaking on "The Howard Stern Show," Cox explained that in a bold blunt move, Cohen approached McDaid and Gary Lightbody and jokingly told them, "Courteney wants to f*** one of you from Snow Patrol and it's not you, Gary." In addition, Harry Styles also intervened, applying peer pressure on McDaid to encourage him to go on a date with Cox.

A week later, their efforts were successful, and Cox and McDaid began their romance. While McDaid, who's from Northern Ireland, has joked that Cox has trouble understanding his accent, he's also made some heartfelt comments about his relationship with the actor. "You have the most generous heart," he told Cox in his 2018 speech when he received IMRO's Outstanding Achievement Award, per X, formerly Twitter. "I get to hold your hand and look at you and look into your eyes and bring that into rooms all around the world and that makes me the luckiest man alive."

Courteney Cox's house parties were the start of her connection with Ed Sheeran

When she was a child, Courteney Cox enjoyed large family gatherings at her grandmother's home. As an adult, she worked to create a similarly convivial atmosphere in her own home by hosting a diverse group of friends each week. Before he introduced her to his writing partner Johnny McDaid, Ed Sheeran met Cox at her home when he tagged along with a mutual friend. After Cox and McDaid's relationship took off, she generously invited Sheeran for an extended stay in her home while he was working on new music. Sheeran was gratified to see his matchmaking success, telling The Sun, "It's great to see the people you love in love."

McDaid and Sheeran's relationship has strengthened over the years, as the two have co-written Sheeran's hot song "Shape of You" and "Bad Habits." In addition, McDaid is the godfather of Sheeran's daughter, Lyra

Meanwhile, Cox and Sheeran have explored the silly side of their friendship. In a parody of a "Friends" dance routine, Sheeran filled in for the role of Ross, with Cox as Monica. The actor then posted the video to her Instagram account in honor of the 2021 "Friends" reunion special. McDaid also joined in on the fun as he, Sheeran, and Cox put their own spin on the legendary lift in "Dirty Dancing." As Sheeran held Cox's hand, McDaid jokingly decided to jump into the air instead of his romantic partner.