Popular British TV host James Corden has opened up about his late night talk show, his decision to quit the US and becoming pals with Prince Harry.
He is the highest-paid British TV presenter.
He has earned an OBE, won 11 Emmys and is friends with everyone from David Beckham to Michelle Obama. Not bad for a self-confessed “tubby lad” from Buckinghamshire.
Now, seven years after setting up home in sunny California, James Corden is heading back to Blighty – starting with a week-long return of his cult The Late Late Show.
“The easiest thing in the world would have been to just stay, take the money and continue on, but I sort of felt like,‘ I wonder if there’s something else out there? ’,” He told The Sun.
“I just couldn’t shake the feeling that maybe it was time. I want to spend more time with my family and I never wanted the show to feel like it had outstayed its welcome.
“We don’t really know where we are going to be or what we are going to do – that’s stuff we’ve got to figure out. But it will be nice to have some more flexibility, and it’s exciting.
“There are some things that I would like to write and I hope there will be other things for me to do. But we still have a year left in the US and I want to make it the best one yet. ”
Since launching the widely hyped CBS show in 2015, the format has been watched in more than 180 countries, while the star has created the three most watched clips in the history of late-night American TV.
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‘I’m a huge fan’
In 2018, his trademark segment Carpool Karaoke with Paul McCartney was the most watched YouTube clip of the year – beating Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s royal wedding.
On the topic of which Corden, famously, has become pals with the Duke of Sussex and his actress wife.
In something of a televisual coup, last February Harry appeared atop a double decker bus to be interviewed by the 43-year-old comic.
In the segment, Harry rapped to the Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air theme tune, FaceTimed Meghan and swore while being driven around Los Angeles, drinking cups of tea.
Within minutes, clips of their cozy chat had gone viral.
Corden and his wife, Julia Carey, who have three kids, Carey, Max and Charlotte, live just 90 minutes from Harry and Meghan’s sprawling Montecito mansion.
So do the quartet socialize? Has he been around to the couple’s £ 11 million ($ A 19.5 million) home?
“I have,” he says. “It was more a sort of play date scenario [with the kids]. Then we went out for dinner after, it was lovely. Obviously I’m not telling you any more. Obviously. ”
So is it true he got them a toaster for their Windsor nuptials?
Plowing on, then, what did he get them? “I honestly don’t remember,” he says through slightly gritted teeth. “I think Jules took care of that.
“Afterwards though, [at the evening reception], I did make a joke, dressed up as Henry VIII, and told everyone: ‘George Clooney’s here, so congratulations on your new Nespresso machine, guys!’ ”
Mildly warming to his subject, he continues: “Look, I’m a huge fan of both of them.
“Obviously I know Harry better than I know Meghan but I think it’s really hard to judge, or be judgmental.
“People process things and deal with things in different ways and that’s OK, and it’s all right to think whatever you think about somebody.
“I don’t know if it definitely needs to be voiced the whole time but my experience of them has been nothing but positive.
“I have a huge amount of respect and admiration for Harry, and anyone who has been around him and spent time with him would feel exactly the same way.
“I think he is devoted and loving husband and father and I think what they have done [in turning away from royal life] is incredibly brave and I’ll always be in their corner.
“I have nothing but admiration and respect for them. I think it’s impossible to judge any of it really. “
Next month The Late Late Show returns on Sky One for the fourth time after a Covid-enforced break of two years.
Citing British rappers Stormzy and Dave as his dream guests, Corden would also happily invite Harry’s estranged brother, Prince William.
“I’m a big fan of William and Kate,” he adds diplomatically. “I feel like they are going to be quite busy around the summer though, aren’t they? I think they have got quite a lot of other plans so I’m not holding my breath but they know where to find me… ”
James suggests he and Jules will start househunting tentatively during his time in the capital next month.
Since announcing his decision to quit the UShe has already been linked to a number of jobs over here including Match Of The Day – which, he says, is nonsense.
In his first newspaper interview in two years, he adds: “I would be open to hosting another talk show at some point though, because I really love doing it.
“But I sort of feel like right now it would be odd to leave this show, and try and do something similar somewhere else.”
At this point in our interview James’s phone flashes, and up pops two words: “Don’t answer”.
“Look at this,” he sighs. ‘I have so many contacts all saved as’ don’t answer, don’t answer!’ – they’re basically a bunch of psychopaths.
“I try to block them and it doesn’t seem to work because somehow there’s a way around it.”
So, besides Harry and some psychopaths, who are the most famous people in his phone book?
“Gary Barlow… you can’t go wrong with Gary. Or maybe Piers Morgan. ”
While he doesn’t have former First Lady Michelle Obama’s mobile saved, he does have a touching handwritten note from her, framed on the wall of his plush, Diptyque candle-scented LA offices. An office complete with a fully stocked drinks trolley.
In 2016, the pair memorably did Carpool Karaoke, belting out Stevie Wonder’s Signed, Sealed, Delivered.
Toxic cancel culture
The note reads: “Dear James, Thank you for the best car ride I’ve had in years. I think you are an incredibly talented individual but, most importantly, a really nice person. I couldn’t think of a cooler guy to drive around in a circle with for 40 minutes, Warmly, Renaissance. ” [Her Secret Service name]
James, married to Jules for ten years – “we did think about renewing our vows” – has faced years of criticism over his weight. At his biggest, and after coming to fame in Alan Bennett’s History Boys and ITV series Fat Friends, the star weighed almost 133.3kg. Since then, he has shed more than 38kg and was recently made a WW ambassador.
So what’s the secret? Intermittent fasting, and boxing, it would appear.
“I don’t eat until 12,” he explains, sipping a vile 15-calorie, sugar-free, vitamin-laden health drink (which he’d previously given me to aid an unfortunately timed hangover).
“I have a trainer who I box with most mornings, and so far today I’ve had an apple. I try to eat healthily and not deprive myself.
“The notion of going on a diet is everything that is wrong because at some point you are going to revert.
– It’s like Dry January – it’s brilliant if you give up booze for January but in the back of your mind you’re like, ‘Well, in February I’m going to have a drink.’
“You don’t have to cut anything out. It’s just being aware of what you’re putting in your body, trying not to eat things that have too many ingredients. I just really enjoy it [Weight Watchers]. You don’t beat yourself up if you have a bad week – you just don’t revert back to eating Quavers at midnight. “
Corden, one of the industry’s hardest-working stars, has a new Amazon series, Mammalscoming out in the autumn.
It will be his first UK project since the surprise Gavin & Stacey Christmas special in 2019 – which drew 18.5 million viewers, becoming the most viewed non-sporting event in a decade. Corden, who is trying to leave his CBS studios by 8pm at least three times a week to put his kids to bed, is now one of Hollywood’s most recognizable stars.
Giant billboards – his face plastered across them – line the town.
He has, however, remained about as normal as it is possible to be under the circumstances. While he credits his family, and business partner Ben Winston, for keeping his size 10s firmly on the ground, he also refuses to Google himself, and steadfastly ignores online trolls.
He is similarly pragmatic on the subject of toxic cancel culture – “it’s an impossible thing to talk about in a world where there has been a decision to remove context and nuisance.” On trolls and internet negativity, he muses: “I don’t really go there any more.
“Perhaps when I was younger those things would affect me more but at some point you just have to stop going into those rooms.
‘It’s like if someone came up to me and went,’ Everyone in there is saying you’re an ar * ehole ‘, you’d go,’ What !? ‘ And you’d go in and go, ‘Hang on a minute’ and maybe try to level with someone and then you leave.
“And if you continually keep going in then that’s on you.”
So far, so La-La Land-sounding. However, Corden is adamant he is not lost in showbiz. He did, though, recently complete a four-day transcendental meditation course. Which, according to Dr Google, allows devotees to “settle the body down to a state of restful alertness”.
He expands “I have started doing transcendental meditation. I went to see a guy. I’d highly recommend it.
“You do a course, then at the end of it you have these tools where, every day, you give yourself 20 minutes of silence to let your thoughts be whatever they are, and I’ve found that very, very beneficial.
“I don’t consider it to be something particular to LA but I really enjoy it.
“Normally if I have a spare 20 minutes, I’ll be on my phone, I’ll be watching something, and that’s it – now I do this. It’s great. ”
This article originally appeared in The Sun and was reproduced with permission