It’s sometimes hard for Brits to remember James Corden has become a major chat show star in America, shooting the breeze with Hollywood guests in a gleaming LA studio.
For many of us, he will always be Smithy out of Gavin & Stacey, a sitcom character as quintessentially British as Jim Royle or Del Boy.
With news of an upcoming Gavin & Stacey Christmas special, the nostalgia for this pre-America Corden is strong; a champion of dubiously placed toilet brushes and emotionally distraught best man speeches.
Corden is missing this green and pleasant land, West Ham United, and strict Indian takeaway sharing etiquette. After all, Hollywood may have its glittering parties, but does it have paint-balling with Garry and Simon?
Appearing on Variety’s Stagecraft podcast, the 40-year-old comic actor has spoken wistfully about returning to the UK with his wife, charity worker Julia Carey, and their young children.
Speaking to host Gordon Cox, Corden revealed his Late Late Show contract will end next year, five years after his relocation across the pond. With this in mind, Corden is considering moving back to Blighty, admitting he and his wife have people back home who they ‘miss deeply’.
Corden told Cox:
I have a year left on my contract. It’s hard. It’s so much more than just, ‘What do I want to do?’
We’re a long way from home, my wife and I, and our children, and there are people at home that we miss deeply and we care about and they’re getting older.
Then there is the question of where do we educate our children and where is the best environment for them.
Going forward, Corden of course has the Gavin & Stacey Christmas special to prepare for. But looking at his career in the long term, it would appear it’s all still to play for.
Corden said a big pay cheque wouldn’t be his main motivation when it comes to his next move:
I think you’ve got to be too careful not to get into money. It can be a dangerous thing if you are using it for new creative endeavours.
I might just slip away and be a footnote and a memory for someone. Doing the show itself was a punk move and I will always be drawn to the next punk move.
Could we soon be seeing a UK-based James Corden chat show to rival Graham Norton? Or will he instead throw himself back into creating beloved sitcoms? I personally hope it’s the latter, preferably with Ruth Jones as his writing partner.
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.