The Brits who made it big in the US – and the ones who didn’t

James Corden has landed the biggest job of his career Stateside, but will he be a British hit or miss?

Godspeed James Corden, do your country proud. The actor and comedian has finally been confirmed as the new host of long-running US chat show The Late Late Show on CBS.


Unlike our TV actors, who have a noble history of making it big in America – just ask Hugh Laurie and Damian Lewis – the route to entertainment fame is far more treacherous. Just ask Ant and Dec.

To reassure Corden as he prepares for his new job, here are some of the proud few who have made it big fronting shows in the US – along with the ones who have flopped.


Cat Deeley

If James Corden needs any help in adapting to life Stateside, former kids’ TV presenter turned primetime host Cat Deeley is a good place to start. The former model moved to the US in 2006 to present season 2 of FOX reality series So You Think You Can Dance. Ten seasons in and she’s still pulling in the viewers, also co-hosting CNN’s coverage of the Royal Wedding with fellow – and much less successful – Brit abroad Piers Morgan (see below).

John Oliver

From two-bit political satirist to host of his own show on HBO and almost 80 million hits on YouTube, it’s safe to say that John Oliver’s move to New York was a good call. Oliver landed a job in 2006 on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Since then he’s used his British outsider status to hilarious effect, standing in for Stewart as host before leaving to launch Last Week Tonight on HBO this year.

Sir David Frost

From satirist to celebrated interviewer, it was in the USA where British broadcaster Sir David Frost filmed his defining moment of television. Frost’s interview with disgraced US president Richard Nixon was the greatest journalistic coup of his career, grilling Tricky Dicky for over 28 hours during the course of a month.


Ant and Dec

The Geordie duo are hardly off the telly here in the UK, presenting a string of ITV hits including Britain’s Got Talent, I’m a Celebrity and Saturday Night Takeaway. But their one effort to crack America crumbled after just one series.

The show was called Wanna Bet?… and the audience didn’t. The show revolved around giving four celebs odds on whether members of the public could complete certain challenges. Like, for example, identifying shoes just by walking in them.

Can’t imagine why that didn’t take off.

Piers Morgan

Whether it was the constant stream of Arsenal tweets, his stance on gun control or that abrasive interviewing style, US audiences never really learned to stomach the former Mirror editor. His CNN talk show lasted three years despite falling ratings, but the axe finally fell in March this year. Note to James Corden: don’t mention cricket.


Cheryl Cole

All’s fine and dandy between Cheryl and Simon Cowell now apparently, after Cheryl was invited back into The X Factor fold – but it certainly wasn’t that way when she was fired from The X Factor USA after just two days on set amid rumours that audiences couldn’t understand her Geordie accent. “I sent [Simon] a very abusive text message,” she told Radio Times recently. “What I said was: ‘F*** you, f*** the orange and purple outfit, f*** big hair, f*** you all. In fact f*** off.’ I don’t think I got a response.” Cheryl may not have made it in America, but at least she’s won back her place in Simon’s heart. All’s well that ends well?