Who Is James Corden? 5 Things to Know About Craig Ferguson's Late Late Show Replacement

Get to know the Begin Again star who will take over the CBS series

By Chris Harnick, Sydney Bucksbaum Sep 08, 2014 5:30 PMTags
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James Corden is your new Late Late Show host. The Into the Woods actor will take over hosting duties from Craig Ferguson on the CBS late night series.

Ferguson, who has been hosting the series since 2005, announced his exit in April 2014, just days after it was announced that Stephen Colbert would take over The Late Show when David Letterman retires. At the time of his announcement, Ferguson stressed it wasn't a Conan O'Brien-Jay Leno or Letterman-Leno situation that previously transpired as late night shows changed hands.

"I'll be stepping down at the end of this year in December," Ferguson said. "Then I'll go and do something else, probably. I'm thinking carpentry, but I haven't made my mind up yet. I don't know what I'm going to do yet but I feel doing this show for 10 years, that's enough…I have a good relationship with [CBS]. I'm still in business with them on other stuff, so please don't picket them or go up to CBS with flaming torches, unless you're angry at me, then, you know, get in line."

So just who is James Corden?  

1. He got his start on British TV
Corden's big break was on the British drama Fat Friends, playing teen Jamie Rymer who joins a group of fellow overweight people trying to slim down. After that series ended, he cocreated, wrote and costarred on British sitcom Gavin and Stacey which explored the long-distance relationship between the title characters. Corden played Gavin's best friend Smithy. He won a BAFTA Television Award for Best Comedy Performance for Gavin and Stacey.

2. He's really good at playing the BFF
After perfecting his BFF role on Gavin and Stacey, Corden once again played the all-important role of the best friend…but this time on the big screen. He costarred in this summer's musical flick Begin Again, playing Keira Knightley's best friend. His character Steve played in the band that recorded their album live all around NYC in public places.

3. Yeah, he sings too!
Corden can be heard on the No. 1 single "Shout" by British rapper Dizzee Rascal, and the song even became the unofficial anthem of the England football team for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. And in 2011, he played the lead in the comedic play One Man, Two Guvnors in the National Theatre, then the West End and then on Broadway. In fact, his performance on Broadway earned him the 2012 Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play.

4. He's going Into the Woods
You'll see Corden on the big screen later this year when Into the Woods premieres in December, since he's playing the Baker…you know, the guy trying to lift the curse of infertility off his bloodline the wicked witch placed on his family so long ago? Yup, that's the one!

5. He's a Whovian
That's right, Corden loves himself some Doctor Who! Or at least, we think so based on some goofy videos of him on the set. We do know that he appeared in two episodes of the fan-favorite series with 11th Doctor Matt Smith. Corden played lovable goofball Craig Owens in 2010's "The Lodger" and returned for 2011's "Closing Time," which allowed he and Smith to do some hilarious scenes together. Plus, he was in the 2011 miniseries short Night and the Doctor.

(Originally published on Tues., Aug. 5, 2014 at 1:26 p.m. PDT)