The Late Late Show’s Craig Ferguson has stepped out as host, while CBS has chosen to go with fellow Brit James Corden. The 36-year-old comedic actor and writer is officially the new host of the late night talk show, CBS execs announced on Monday. Ferguson has hosted the show for 10 years, and announced his retirement plans in April, not long after David Letterman announced the end of his own 21-year run. Stephen Colbert, host of Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report, will take over for Letterman in 2015.
Seeming to be a big part of the late-night CBS program overhaul, Corden seemed to be genuinely thrilled with the confirmed news. “Words cannot describe how honored and thrilled I am to be considered for the same position as the amazing Craig Ferguson,” Corden said. “Just to be requested to host a show as historical as this one is, on a #1 rated network is beyond exhilarating. I’m ready to get going, and I will honestly try my best to entertain and create a program that people will enjoy.”
Corden was already a busy man before word broke out of his new job, co-starring in new films such as Begin Again with Mark Ruffalo and Keira Knightley, as well as Disney’s broad upcoming musical Into the Woods, starring Johnny Depp, Meryl Streep and Emily Blunt, due for a December release. Already a huge star in his home of the UK, he won a Tony for Best Leading Actor in a Play for the starring role in Broadway’s One Man, Two Guvnors. A few of his earlier television credits are comprised of a brief stint on Fat Friends and Teachers, a short-lived dramedy.
However, more successfully, Corden co-created and acted in a regular series on BBC comedy, Gavin and Stacey, which he would later win a British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) award for. Although not nearly as known for his work in the U.S., he is strongly considered to be one of the more popular comedic actors from England, having multiple credits in theater, television and film. CBS recently spoke out about how happy they are with their choice for Ferguson’s replacement, as Corden will be introduced to American audiences while Letterman is still hosting the popular show.
“We are very enthused to introduce James Corden as our new host of The Late Late Show. His originality, warmth and charm as an entertainer is so diverse, along with his creative instincts and overall talent as a performer,” shared Nina Tassler, Chairman of CBS Entertainment. “He is an exceptionally skilled writer and creator who is deeply loved and admired in pretty much everything that he touches, which ranges from comedy to film to musical theater. We consider him a considerably unique talent, and look forward to him being seen by our network’s audience on a nightly basis,” she concludes.
His new hosting gig as Ferguson’s heir may not be without its challenges, but the medium for Corden is definitely not something that is foreign. He has not only hosted music award shows like the Brit Awards, but has also been the host of a sports game show called A League of Their Own. His new late night talk show gig does not have a set date at the moment, but CBS spokesman Chris Ender confirms it will be around the first quarter of 2015.
By Theodore Borders