Popular British TV host James Corden has opened up about his late night talk show, his decision to leave the US and become friends with Prince Harry.
He is the highest paid British television presenter.
He’s got an OBE, won 11 Emmys and is friends with everyone from David Beckham to Michelle Obama. Not bad for a self-proclaimed “tubby boy” from Buckinghamshire.
Now, seven years after settling in sunny California, James Corden is returning to Blighty – starting with a week-long return from his cult The late show.
“The easiest thing in the world would have been to stay, take the money and carry on, but I thought, ‘I wonder if there’s anything else out there?'” he declares. The sun.
“I just couldn’t help but think maybe it was time. I want to spend more time with my family and I never wanted the show to feel like it was overstayed.
“We don’t really know where we’re going to be or what we’re going to do – that’s something we have to figure out. But it will be nice to have more flexibility, and that’s exciting.
“There are things I would love to write and I hope I will have other things to do. But we still have a year left in the United States and I want to make it the best one yet.
Since the highly publicized CBS show launched in 2015, the format has been watched in more than 180 countries, while the star has created the three most-watched music videos in American late-night television history.
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‘I am a big fan’
In 2018, his marquee 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 subject of which the famous Corden became friends with the Duke of Sussex and his actress wife.
In a television coup of sorts, last February Harry appeared on top of a double-decker bus to be interviewed by the 43-year-old comedian.
In the segment, Harry rapped at Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song, FaceTimed Meghan and swore while being driven around Los Angeles, drinking cups of tea.
Within minutes, snippets of their intimate conversation had gone viral.
Corden and his wife, Julia Carey, who have three children, Carey, Max and Charlotte, live just 90 minutes from Harry and Meghan’s sprawling Montecito mansion.
So, is the foursome socializing? Has he visited the couple’s £11million ($A19.5million) home?
“I have,” he said. “It was more of a kind of play date scenario [with the kids]. Then we went out for dinner afterwards, it was lovely. Of course, I won’t tell you more. Obviously.”
So is it true that he gave them a toaster for their wedding in Windsor?
Plowing, so what’s he got? “Honestly, I don’t remember,” he said, gritting his teeth slightly. “I think Jules took care of it.
” After what, [at the evening reception], I made a joke, dressed as Henry VIII, and said to everyone: ‘George Clooney is here, so congratulations on your new Nespresso machine, guys!’ ”
Slightly warmed by his subject, he continues: “Look, I’m a big fan of both.
“Obviously I know Harry better than I know Meghan, but I think it’s really hard to judge or pass judgements.
“People process things and deal with things in different ways and that’s okay, and it’s okay to think what you think of someone.
“I don’t know if this necessarily has to be voiced all the time, but my experience with them has been nothing but positive.
“I have enormous respect and admiration for Harry, and anyone who knew him and spent time with him would feel exactly the same.
“I think he’s a devoted and loving husband and father and I think what they’ve done [in turning away from royal life] is incredibly brave and I will always be in their corner.
“I have nothing but admiration and respect for them. I think it’s impossible to judge anything really.
Next month The late show returns to Sky One for the fourth time after a two-year Covid-enforced hiatus.
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 have a feeling they’re going to be quite busy over the summer, aren’t they? I think they have quite a few other plans so I’m not holding my breath but they know where to find me…”
James suggests he and Jules will tentatively start house hunting while he is in the capital next month.
Since announcing his decision to leave the United States, he has already been linked to a number of jobs here, including Game of the day – which, he says, is nonsense.
In his first newspaper interview in two years, he added, “I would be willing to host another talk show at some point because I really love doing it.
“But I kind of feel like right now it would be weird to leave this show and try to do something similar somewhere else.”
At this point in our interview, James’ phone flashes and two words appear: “Don’t answer.”
“Look at that,” he sighs. “I have so many contacts registered as ‘don’t answer, don’t answer!’ – they are basically a bunch of psychopaths.
“I try to block them and it doesn’t seem to work because there is a way around it.”
So, other than Harry and a few psychopaths, who are the most famous people in his phone book?
“Gary Barlow… you can’t go wrong with Gary. Or maybe Piers Morgan.
Although he hasn’t registered former First Lady Michelle Obama’s cellphone, he does have a touching handwritten note of her, framed on the wall of his Diptyque candle-scented Los Angeles offices. A full office with a fully stocked beverage cart.
In 2016, the couple memorably did Carpool Karaoke, singing Stevie Wonder 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 person but, above all, a really nice person. Couldn’t think of a cooler guy to ride in a circle with for 40 minutes, Warmly, Renaissance. [Her Secret Service name]
James, who has been married to Jules for ten years – “we have thought about renewing our vows” – has faced years of criticism over his weight. At his greatest, and after rising to fame in Alan Bennett’s story boys and ITV series fat friends, the star weighed almost 133.3 kg. Since then he has lost over 38kg and was recently named a WW Ambassador.
So what’s the secret? Intermittent fasting, and boxing, it seems.
“I don’t eat until I’m 12,” he explains, sipping a vile 15-calorie, sugar-free, vitamin-packed health drink (which he’d given me earlier to ease an unfortunately timed hangover). .
“I have a trainer that I box with most mornings, and so far today I’ve had an apple. I try to eat healthy and not deprive myself.
“The notion of dieting is all that’s wrong, because at some point you’re going to go backwards.
“It’s like Dry January – it’s great if you give up alcohol for January, but in the back of your mind you’re like, ‘Well, in February I’m going for a drink.’
“You don’t have to cut anything. It’s just being aware of what you put in your body, trying not to eat things that have too many ingredients. I truly appreciate it [Weight Watchers]. You don’t beat yourself up if you have a bad week – you just don’t go back to eating eighth notes at midnight.
Corden, one of the hardest working stars in the industry, has a new Amazon series, Mammalswhich comes out in the fall.
This will be his first UK project since the surprise Gavin and Stacey Christmas Special in 2019 – which drew 18.5 million viewers, becoming the most-watched non-sporting event for a decade. Corden, who tries to leave his CBS studios by 8 p.m. 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 glued to them – line the city.
He remained, however, about as normal as possible under the circumstances. While he credits his family and business partner Ben Winston with keeping his size 10 firmly in the field, he also refuses to Google himself and firmly ignores online trolls.
He’s also pragmatic about toxic cancel culture – “it’s an impossible thing to address in a world where it’s been decided to remove context and nuisance”. Of the trolls and negativity on the internet, he muses, “I don’t really go there anymore.
“Maybe when I was younger those things affected me more, but at some point you just have to stop going into those rooms.
“It’s like someone would come up to me and say ‘Everyone in there says you’re a jerk’, you’d say ‘What!?’ And you’d come in and say, ‘Wait a minute’ and maybe try to get on somebody’s level, and then you’d leave.
“And if you continue continuously, it’s up to you.”
So far, so La-La Land-poll. However, Corden is adamant he’s not lost in showbiz. However, he recently completed a four-day Transcendental Meditation course. Which, according to Dr. Google, allows worshipers to “quiet the body into a state of restful alertness.”
He develops “I started doing transcendental meditation. I went to see a guy. I highly recommend it.
“You take a course and then at the end you have these tools where every day you give yourself 20 minutes of silence to let your thoughts be what they are, and I’ve found that to be very, very beneficial.
“I don’t consider it to be anything special in Los Angeles but I really like it.
“Normally, if I have 20 minutes to spare, I’ll be on my phone, watching something, and that’s it – now I’m doing this. That’s good.”
This article originally appeared in The Sun and has been reproduced with permission