James Corden: From Smithy to US A-lister…and the Cats Movie
James Corden’s career so far has taken him from an Essex town to the Broadway stage, and he has become a firm favorite in American households that host The Late Late Show.
The TV host will step down from hosting responsibilities at The Late Late Show next summer after more than eight years, broadcaster CBS said.
The 40-year-old father of three, who is perhaps best known in the UK for his role as likable sidekick Neil “Smithy” Smith on the Essex and Wales sitcom Gavin And Stacey, was enjoying positive reviews when he was beamed into the living room USA topped one of the country’s most popular TV shows for the first time in 2015.
The comedian, who received an OBE in the 2015 New Year Honors List for his services to drama, took over as presenter of The Late Late Show from Scottish-born comedian Craig Ferguson, who was a presenter for 10 years.
Corden, who grew up in Buckinghamshire, discovered his talent for making people laugh at school, at the expense of his academic performance, and got his break from acting in the musical Martin Guerre at the age of 17, although he quit because he found it boring .
The star, who dreamed of playing in a boy band as a teenager, later landed a TV role in a Channel 4 music business spoof Boyz Unlimited.
He then went on to have a regular role on the ITV drama Fat Friends where he was associated with actress Ruth Jones.
Roles in the stage and screen versions of Alan Bennett’s The History Boys and the film Starter For Ten made him a household name, and he rose to prominence thanks to the comedy series Gavin And Stacey, which he co-produced with Jones and Co author wrote, becoming a national favorite who graduated from BBC Three to BBC One.
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His rise to fame hasn’t been without the occasional hiccup – his BBC sketch show with Mathew Horne and the film Lesbian Vampire Killers showed he didn’t have an entirely golden path.
He starred as part of the ensemble in the 2019 live-action remake of Cats, which was poorly received by fans, along with other A-listers including Dame Judi Dench, Sir Ian McKellen and Taylor Swift.
Corden, who played gregarious Bustopher Jones, told The New Yorker he had “a great time” making the film but has no plans to ever see it.
But he landed serious recognition for his acting ability when he starred in the National Theatre, West End and Broadway runs in the production of One Man, Two Guvnors.
The comedian has enjoyed TV presenting roles, hosting sports shows such as A League Of Their Own and James Corden’s World Cup Live and presenting the Brit Awards numerous times.
Corden, whose role as Smithy on “Gavin and Stacey” often played on his weight, lost six stone before launching his TV career in the US.
The Carpool Karaoke segment of his US show, in which he sings alongside various stars in the car, has featured some of the biggest names in music including Sir Paul McCartney, Adele, Billie Eilish, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Justin Bieber and more.
In a 2018 interview with The Mail on Sunday’s Event Magazine, Corden paid tribute to the late singer George Michael and said that without him, Carpool Karaoke would never have happened.
Michael appeared in the first iteration of the sketch inspired by Gavin and Stacey and filmed for Comic Relief in 2011.
He told the publication: “Without him and his ability to laugh at himself, it wouldn’t exist. No question.”
Corden, who moved to Los Angeles with his family from London, has been married to Julia Carey since 2012.
He has twice hosted the Grammy Music Awards and the Tony Awards.
The Late Late Show was Corden’s most successful onscreen project and he will have hosted the show for more than eight years when he hands over the reins next year.
Its first episode aired in March 2015, with Hollywood star Tom Hanks as a guest on opening night.
As with most other major US talk shows, filming on The Late Late Show has been hampered by the coronavirus pandemic, including a special fifth anniversary special in March 2020.
An emotional Corden reflected on the show’s success in a virtual message to fans ahead of the episode’s airing.
Looking back on his first show, Corden said, “I’m filled with nervousness and excitement and felt like when the curtain opened and I walked out for the first time, I didn’t know if I was going to fall flat on my face or if this would all be okay.” would.
Five years ago today we shot our very first Late Late Show. Thanks to everyone who watched and participated. It’s been quite an unexpected ride, and we’ll try to bring you a new show soon. jx
— James Corden (@JKCorden) March 23, 2020
“And I never thought on that day that I would be here today to speak to you five years later.
“Thank you for letting me talk to you every night for the past five years. I never expected it to be the journey it was. Stay safe out there.”
After announcing his departure, he told the US newspaper Deadline that the decision to leave was “really difficult” but that he was “immensely proud” of the program and its accomplishments.
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/movies/james-corden-from-smithy-to-stateside-a-listerand-the-cats-movie-41598844.html James Corden: From Smithy to US A-lister…and the Cats Movie