James Corden Shares Emotional Anecdote About His Son That Led Him To Leave Late, Late Show

James Corden during his interview on Drew Barrymore's talk show
James Corden during his interview on Drew Barrymore's talk show

James Corden during his interview on Drew Barrymore's talk show

James Corden has spoken out about how his son inspired his decision to step down as host of The Late, Late Show.

After seven years at the helm of the US talk show, James surprised the media last year when he announced he would be leaving in 2023.

In a new interview with Drew Barrymore, the Gavin & Stacey creator admitted that it was “not easy in any way to walk away from” his talk show, but he made the decision for his family, with whom he plans to “put down some roots in London”.

“I’ll never work in a better environment than the one I work in now,” James said. “Nothing about leaving the show was to do with not enjoying it, I love it. But the truth is, it became a very easy decision.”

He recalled; “When I was shooting the show Mammals two summers ago, one day, I was filming on a Sunday, and I came downstairs at about 6am and my son, who was 10 at the time, was sat on the stairs.

“And he said, ‘are you working today?’, and I said, ‘I am’. And he said, ‘but it’s Sunday’, and I said, ‘I know, buddy, but this schedule is so all over the place, we’ve just got to get it done, because I only have a tiny amount of time before we have to go back and do the show’. And his face just kind of dropped.”

James in the Late, Late Show studio
James in the Late, Late Show studio

James in the Late, Late Show studio

James said that after leaving his son, he phoned his wife and told her: “I’ve realised, best case scenario, we have six more summers where Max even remotely wants to be around us, and I cannot waste another one.” 

He concluded: “Really, the choice was to go, ‘if I want to do this other work, that cannot be at the expense of our children and our family’. And that is really all it comes down to.

“I will be a mess on that last show, I will cry my eyes out. But I will know in my core that the best thing for me and the best thing for us as a family is to put down some roots in London, and it feels absolutely right in every single way.”

James previously said of his decision to leave The Late, Late Show: “When I started this journey it was always going to be just that, a journey, an adventure.

“I never saw as it as my final destination, and I never want this show to overstay its welcome, I love making it and I really think in a year from now that will be a good time to move on and see what’s out there.”

The Cats actor will host his final edition of The Late, Late Show in the summer of 2023, after which a new host will take over.

Over the course of his seven years as host, James has popularised segments like Carpool Karaoke and Spill Your Guts Or Fill Your Guts, and interviewed everyone from Paul McCartney and Madonna to Adele and US president Joe Biden.

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