Who Is Rumored 'Late Late Show' Successor James Corden?

Rumor has it CBS has picked English actor and comedian James Corden to succeed Craig Ferguson on "The Late Late Show."
Posted at 10:49 AM, Aug 06, 2014

It's another big shake-up in late-night TV. Both David Letterman and Craig Ferguson are heading out, and it looks like CBS might be throwing audiences a bit of a curve ball. 

The network — according to an anonymous source who talked to The Wrap — could be going with English actor and comedian James Corden as Ferguson's replacement. 

Corden is a household name in the UK, but he's a relative unknown in the U.S. And considering CBS went with the larger-than-life Stephen Colbert to replace Letterman, it's a potentially surprising move. (Via Sky News)

So who is James Corden, and why would CBS choose him? Here's some background.

The 35-year-old is a Tony winner who made his TV breakthrough in the UK seven years ago with the popular sitcom "Gavin and Stacey," which he co-wrote with co-star Ruth Jones. (Via BBC)

​Both his character on that show and his Tony award-winning character in "One Man, Two Guvnors" are extremely likeable, if somewhat bumbling, guys that reflect the public persona he's cultivated. (Via PBS)

CORDEN: "Humbled, I guess, that I be allowed to do so many different things, and I'm aware that might not always be the case, but right now I find it thrilling that I am." (Via ODE)

He also recently starred in the well-reviewed romantic comedy "Begin Again" with Keira Knightley, Mark Ruffalo and Adam Levine, which has him in theaters across the country. (Via The Weinstein Company / "Begin Again")

The Guardian cites Corden's increasing American exposure. "CBS may be banking on an imminent rise in his profile, as he is starring in Disney's Into the Woods, which is set for a Christmas Day release."

And many outlets have pointed to the fact that Craig Ferguson was also relatively unknown in the U.S. when he took over "The Late Late Show," though that's about where the similarities end. (CBS / "The Late Late Show"

Corden is much more popular in the UK than Ferguson was before he came over to the U.S. in the early 1990s. Outlets on either side of the pond had fairly different reactions to reports of his selection. 

"The man who's talked about coming on is our very own James Corden. If he got this, it would be absolutely brilliant. I think he'd be brilliant at it, too." (Via ITV)

"Some guy named James Corden will be filling Ferguson's shoes at 'The Late Late Show.' ... I'm just concerned that a guy is going to be hosting the show who couldn't get on the show as a guest." ​(Via Eye Opener)

And as Wednesday's crop of "Who is James Corden?" confirmed, that's the question a lot of Americans might be asking themselves if Corden does ultimately take up the role. (Via Salon, E!, Entertainment Weekly)

Another question some critics are asking with rumors of Corden's selection, as The Daily Beast points out, is why so little diversity in the late-night world? 


"While Corden, who is an accomplished actor, a husband, and a father, seems like a perfectly nice guy and a relatively fresh face, his presence on CBS is unfortunately a perpetuation of the status quo."

CBS still hasn't made an official announcement, and Corden's representatives didn't confirm or deny The Wrap's report.