James Cor­den

James Cor­den on bring­ing his hit Us chat show to the UK and the debt he owes to Ge­orge Michael

TV Times - - News -

Ge­orge was so un­be­liev­ably im­por­tant in my life

new Chat show The Late Late Show Weds-fri / sky 1 / 10.00pm

When James Cor­den made his de­but as host of The Late Late Show in March 2015, the Bri­tish star was wor­ried about how he’d go down with Amer­i­can au­di­ences.

Two years on, the gamble has paid off. Since tak­ing over the slot on the CBS net­work, he has given view­ers many iconic mo­ments – from act­ing out Tom Hanks’s best-known films with the Hol­ly­wood star, to his pop­u­lar Car­pool Karaoke, which sees him driv­ing and singing with the likes of Justin Bieber,

Lady Gaga and even

Michelle Obama.

Now James, 38, is back in the UK for three spe­cial episodes of the chat show on Sky1. Filmed in Lon­don, guests are be­ing kept under wraps, though we have been told to ex­pect ‘a Bri­tish twist’.

Here, our host – who also re­turns in a new se­ries of A League of Their Own on

Sky1 this Mon­day – an­tic­i­pates his home­com­ing, and re­flects on his time in LA…

Are you look­ing for­ward to The Late Late Show in Lon­don? It’s a dream come true, and we’re go­ing to do our best to make the week in Lon­don mem­o­rable.

The suc­cess of the show in the US must have been a sur­prise I’m in­cred­i­bly proud. When we first started, I’m sure the ma­jor­ity of view­ers were think­ing, ‘Who the hell is this guy?’ Did you al­ways want to host your own talk show?

It’s never some­thing I as­pired to be. It was only when I was told we could do any­thing we wanted on the show that it be­came in­cred­i­bly ex­cit­ing.

What’s been your favourite mo­ment? Meet­ing Michelle Obama for Car­pool Karaoke was in­cred­i­ble. You’re walk­ing around the White House and you keep think­ing, ‘This is amaz­ing’.

How is Car­pool Karaoke filmed? I’m in a con­voy of a few cars, so all I have to do is drive as straight as I can – and that’s it. I think my driv­ing is OK, but I’d rather do it in LA than in Lon­don. That’s quite a lot harder.

Ge­orge Michael pro­vided the in­spi­ra­tion for Car­pool, didn’t he? We did a sketch in 2011 for Comic Relief with me play­ing Smithy from Gavin & Stacey, and peo­ple loved it. I feel in­cred­i­bly lucky to have spent a mo­ment in his or­bit. Ge­orge was un­be­liev­ably im­por­tant in my life.

Have you al­ways loved mu­sic?

My father was a mu­si­cian in the Royal Air Force. His father was a mu­si­cian, and his father was also a mu­si­cian. So mu­sic has al­ways sur­rounded me in var­i­ous mo­ments, good or bad. It’s made me feel I’m not on my own, what­ever it might be that I’m fac­ing.

You’ve had in­cred­i­ble suc­cess in the the­atre – in­clud­ing a Tony award – but you haven’t acted on stage for five years, do you miss it? I’d love to, but my job can be quite re­stric­tive. I feel very lucky with the plays I’ve done, but I’m not pin­ing to do more. I’m very happy and en­joy­ing what I’m do­ing right now. All I’ve ever wanted was a dif­fer­ent and var­ied ca­reer. So to have that makes me feel very lucky.

Is it easy to re­lax?

I don’t en­joy sitting around. Be­ing so busy can be over­whelm­ing, but I con­sider it a priv­i­lege to feel tired. My cousins are brick­lay­ers, and they must be more ex­hausted than I am. But it’s good to feel tired; it means I’ve given ev­ery­thing. If I can’t find the en­thu­si­asm for do­ing this job then what’s the point?

Where will you be in five years? Oh Jeez, I don’t know. I hope I’m happy and the peo­ple I love are healthy. That’s all I re­ally care about.

The Late Late Show IS pre­viewed on PAGES 68-69

Belting up with Ge­orge Michael for Comic Relief

Pres­i­den­tial sweet: With Michelle Obama

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