James Corden might be a Hollywood regular nowadays, with a successful presenting gig on The Late Late Show under his belt, but he hasn’t forgotten the roots of his success.
The 37-year-old, who got his big break on BBC3 series Gavin and Stacey, is a staunch supporter of the broadcaster, and its youth programming in particular.
“The future of the BBC is the next generation,” he says in this week’s Radio Times magazine. “I wouldn’t have a career if it wasn’t for the BBC – it’s incredible – I just hope there’s a plan in place to maintain an outlet for new young voices to be heard.”
“It’s not a question of does it exist on television or doesn’t it exist on television,” Corden continued, referencing BBC3’s impending move online. “It’s a question of whether there’s still the budget and funds to make television shows and support new writers.”
Corden has long been fighting BBC3’s corner, telling RadioTimes.com in 2013: “BBC3 as a channel should always, always be at the forefront of what is new and young and fresh and exciting. If it’s not, there’s no point having it.”
Fellow comedian and Corden’s A League of Their Own co-star Jack Whitehall added: “It’s my personal opinion, that there’s probably enough money at the BBC going in to making big dramas with white people walking around in bonnets – they have that covered – it’s important that they keep enough money in their pot to support young writers, directors and producers as well.
“It needs to be distributed across the board and not all weighted towards BBC1 dramas aimed at an older audience,” says the 27-year-old, whose sitcom Bad Education found a home on BBC3.
Whitehall was one of the first celebrities to come out in support of the channel when its future was initially thrown into uncertainty back in early 2014.
BBC3 will cease to exist as a television channel in March after the BBC Trust formally approved plans to close it in November this year.
“BBC3 is not closing, we are reinventing online,” the channel’s digital controller Damian Kavanagh said at the time. “We will not be a scheduled 7pm to 4am linear broadcast TV channel but we will be everywhere else giving you the freedom to choose what to watch when you want.”