James Corden offered a heartfelt homage to Manchester after last night's attack at an Ariana Grande concert. The incident occurred as he was taping The Late Late Show, so he recorded the tribute in an empty studio after the audience had left. It was broadcast at the beginning of the episode, and the screen faded to black for several seconds before the full episode aired on CBS.
"Good evening. While taping our show earlier tonight we heard the horrific news coming out of Manchester, in England, that there has been an incident at Ariana Grande's concert. We still have no real information about what's happening. All we know is the tragic news is that there are multiple fatalities and many injuries," said the late-night host, who was born in London but raised in Buckinghamshire. "It shocks me every time we hear this sort of news that attacks like this can happen—but especially when there will be so many children at this concert tonight."
"Many of you won't have ever been in Manchester, but you will definitely have heard of it. It's famous all over the world for so many wonderful things. Great football teams: Man City and Man United. It's famous for incredible music: Oasis and Joy Division. It was the birthplace of the leader of the Suffragettes. It's the home of the invention of the first computer. It's a place full of comedy and curries and character," he said. "But when I think of Manchester, the place that I know, I think of the spirit of the people there. And I'm telling you, a more tight-knit group of people you will be hard pressed to find. Strong, proud, caring people with community at its core. And if it was even possible, the spirit of Manchester will grow even stronger this evening."
"My thoughts and prayers are with everyone in Manchester tonight. All of the staff at the MEN Arena, all of the security teams, all of the emergency teams, Ariana and her team and all of the families affected by tonight," he said. "We'll all go to bed holding out little ones even tighter this evening."
At least 22 people were killed in the suicide bombing. Manchester Police also confirmed at least 59 people were injured after a man detonated an improvised explosive device in the foyer of Manchester Arena at 10:30 p.m., just as Grande was finishing her set. On Tuesday morning, British Prime Minister Theresa May called the attack an act of "appalling, sickening cowardice."
"This was among the worst terrorist incidents we have ever experienced in the United Kingdom," May said, "and although it is not the first time Manchester has suffered in this way, it is the worst attack the city has experienced and the worse ever to hit the north of England."
Peter Byrne/PA Wire
"We now know that a single terrorist detonated his improvised explosive device near one of the exits of the venue, deliberately choosing the time and place to cause maximum carnage and to kill and injure indiscriminately," the Prime Minister said, adding, "Police and security services believe that the attack was carried out by one man, but they now need to know whether he was acting alone or as part of a wider group. It will take some time to establish these facts and the investigation will continue. The police and security services will be given all the resources they need to complete that task. The police and security services believe they know the identity of the perpetrator, but at this stage of their investigations, we cannot confirm his name."
"We struggle to comprehend the warped and twisted mind that sees a room packed with young children not as a scene to cherish but as an opportunity for carnage," May said while addressing reporters at Downing Street. "But we can continue to resolve to thwart such attacks in future, to take on and defeat the ideology that often fuels this violence and if there turn out to be others responsible for this attack to seek them out and bring them to justice."
Queen Elizabeth II also issued a statement Tuesday, saying, "The whole nation has been shocked by the death and injury in Manchester last night of so many people, adults and children, who had just been enjoying a concert. I know I speak for everyone in expressing my deepest sympathy to all who have been affected by this dreadful event and especially to the families and friends of those who have died or were injured."
"I want to thank all the members of the emergency services, who have responded with such professionalism and care," she added. "And I would like to express my admiration for the way the people of Manchester have responded, with humanity and compassion, to this act of barbarity."