James Corden Reflects On 'Risky' Decision To Quit The Late Late Show

"I think it’s a greater risk to stay."
James Corden hosting The Late Late Show
James Corden hosting The Late Late Show
CBS Photo Archive via Getty Images

James Corden has opened up about his decision to quit the The Late Late Show, saying it felt like “a greater risk to stay”.

The Gavin & Stacey star has hosted the US talk show since March 2015, but announced he was stepping down in April this year.

The presenter and actor has extended his contract with CBS to present the show for one more year before finishing in the summer of 2023.

Appearing on BBC Radio 4’s This Cultural Life, James was asked whether he worried his persona as a chat show host stops people seeing him as the kind of performer he would like to be.

He said: “Honestly, I don’t know. I guess we’re about to find out.

“Look, I’m aware that this isn’t a road often travelled. I’m aware that there’s not a plethora of people who have walked away from these late night talk shows, ever. I get why they wouldn’t walk away. It’s amazing.

“And for me really the reason to leave is the same as the reason to do it, which is, I wonder if this is possible.

“And if this is it then, do you know what, it’s been quite a ride anyway. I get that it will be difficult.”

James with guests Kylie and Kris Jenner
James with guests Kylie and Kris Jenner
CBS Photo Archive via Getty Images

Asked whether he felt it was a risk leaving the show, James replied: “No. I think it’s a greater risk to stay.

“There’s an amazing clip, in which David Bowie talks about never playing to the gallery.

“On the day of the announcement that I was going to walk away, it was still made very clear to me that there was a job here for the next five years and I’m not gonna lie, financially it’s good.”

James said he had watched the clip of Bowie repeatedly as a way of reassuring himself.

Asked whether he felt scared or anxious about the move, he added: “Of course, who wouldn’t.

“Like you say, you’re hoping that maybe there’s one more thing I’ve got to do. Maybe there’s one more adventure. You’ve got to jump, and it might take a minute.

“I’m pretty all right with the idea that I might have to get comfortable in some silence for a minute.

“By the time I finish, I’ll have done 1,235 shows. That is a lot of television.”

as a British host of a US late night show, James has enjoyed immense success with the programme which features scores of celebrity guests and special segments.

His popular Carpool Karaoke series, in which he drives to work with different musicians, singing their back catalogue over the radio and discussing their careers, has included Adele, Justin Bieber, Billie Eilish, Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande.

He previously promised viewers that his final 12 months would be full of fan favourites and “other surprises” which would be “a blast”.

James took over as presenter of The Late Late Show in 2015 from Scottish-born comedian Craig Ferguson, who spent 10 years as host.

This Cultural Life airs at 7.15pm on Saturday on BBC Radio 4 and on BBC Sounds.


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