British actor and funnyman James Corden has been heavily tipped to take over CBS’s talk show The Late Late Show from Craig Ferguson.
Ferguson, who’s hosted The Late Late Show since 2005, announced earlier this year that he’d be stepping down at “the end of this year”. Hollywood website The Wrap has reported that the 35-year-old Brit star will succeed Ferguson, a story that was later backed up by outlets such as The Hollywood Reporter. Neither Corden’s agent or CBS have confirmed or denied the news.
Such a career move would be a big deal for Corden who, beyond winning a Tony award for playing Francis Henshall in the Broadway production of One Man, Two Guvnors, is relatively unknown in the US. He will, however, be starring in Disney’s star-studded film Into The Woods, which is released this year on Christmas Day.
The Late Late Show has form for poaching unknown names, with Scottish comedian Ferguson having little profile when he first took over the show. Yet he rose to prominence with his geeky enthusiasm for Doctor Who (he hosted panels at this year’s San Diego Comic Con) and off-the-wall wit.
The show is so called because it airs after Late Show With David Letterman (to be presented by Stephen Colbert next year) in the early-morning slot of 12.35am.
When announcing his departure, Ferguson said: “CBS and I are not getting divorced, we are ‘consciously uncoupling’, but we will still spend holidays together and share custody of the fake horse and robot skeleton, both of whom we love very much,” referencing two props from the programme.
Corden, meanwhile, has come a long way since his break-out role in Alan Bennett’s The History Boys and the hit 2007 BBC sitcom Gavin & Stacey, which he co-wrote with Ruth Jones. He has since had a career of mixed fortunes, with films such as Lesbian Vampire Killers and the more recent One Chance not registering as box-office hits.
However, he has hosted the Brits five times, co-written and starred in the acclaimed BBC/Hulu comedy thriller The Wrong Mans, and presented Sky1’s hit sport-themed panel show A League of Their Own, to which he recently re-committed for a further three years.
He will next star in Into The Woods, a major Disney musical fantasy to be released in the US this Christmas, alongside Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt and Johnny Depp.