James Corden on turning veggie, his mischievous youth and bringing The Late Late Show back to the UK
When it comes to TV, the British chat show host is enjoying Ozark and The Handmaid's Tale - but what he's really obsessed with is a decent night's sleep
I rarely sit on the couch, I’m always in bed. With three children [Max, six, Carey, three, and six-month-old Charlotte], I’m happiest if I’m asleep at half past nine. Right now, in our house, sleep is everything.
What do you like to watch on TV, in bed or otherwise?
I really enjoyed The Crown and Ozark on Netflix, and my wife [Julia Carey] and I adore The Handmaid’s Tale – but I’m not on a quest for a new show to binge on; I’m on a quest to shut my eyes for a little longer.
You’re back for a UK series of your US chat show The Late Late Show. Have you missed home?
I love the UK. Los Angeles can be really weird. People seem to put work, career, money and power above lots of other things – but I know I’m very lucky to be there.
You can be very mischievous on your talk show. Have you always been cheeky?
I was naughty every now and then when I was young, because I didn’t take well to authority. But I was never spiteful. I just wanted to have fun, and I didn’t think Geography was fun. I thought we could make it more fun with jokes, which was my problem.
Did you imagine you’d be a star?
No one is more surprised than me. But I always knew I wanted to perform. The only time my school attendance record was 100 per cent was when we were rehearsing a play.
What’s your favourite TV dinner?
My current vice is bread. I’ve just given up eating meat. At Christmas, I read a story about the mistreatment of elephants and realised I was upset about animal welfare while eating a bacon sandwich. I thought, “Well, you really can’t be upset about elephants and not think about the pigs.” I hope I can keep it up. I will certainly try. I’m going to try to phase out fish next. It’s going to be a gradual process.
What does music mean to you?
It’s always made me feel I’m not on my own. At moments of heartbreak or sadness, there are songs and artists that reach out to you and say, “You are not on your own with this.” I always find it weird when anyone on Facebook “likes” music. It’s not even something you should have to say. My father was a musician in the Air Force. His father was a musician, and his father too. There’s always been a lot of music in my family.
Where do you see yourself in five or even ten years’ time?
Let’s not get too deep. I don’t know. I hope I’m happy and the people I love are healthy. I think it’s so strange to go, “Oh, I’d like to be here doing this.” Be careful what you wish for.
The Late Late Show UK Special begins Tuesday 19th June at 10pm on Sky 1, and is also available to stream on NOW TV. Corden is also in Begin Again, Sun BBC2