Belfast Telegraph

Corden 'blown away' on US TV debut

James Corden has said he is "blown away" after his US talk show debut elicited a warm response from viewers.

The British Gavin And Stacey star made his first outing as host of the Late Late Show on US network CBS.

Corden, who was relatively unknown in America, enjoyed a star-packed guest list, including Tom Hanks and Mila Kunis, for his first show.

He joked about his "shock" at landing the gig and wiped away a tear as he thanked his parents for being in the audience.

Afterwards, he told fans on Twitter: "Well, so many truly lovely messages about the show tonight. I'm blown away, thank you."

Introduced himself to US audiences, he said: "I feel I should tell you a little bit about myself.

"My name is James Corden and I'm 36 years old and I'm from a place called High Wycombe in Great Britain, which you almost certainly will never have heard of because most people in Great Britain haven't heard of it so I don't expect you to."

He joked: "I'm married, sorry ladies, this ship has sailed."

Gesturing at his newly slimmed-down frame, he said: "This don't stay on the shelf too long."

The actor added: "Believe me, however shocked you are that I am standing here doing this job, you will never be as shocked as I am."

He said it was a "privilege" to be hosting the late-night talk show, adding: "I really will do my best not to let any of you down."

Corden, who takes over from Scottish-born Craig Ferguson, taped the show at CBS studios in Los Angeles the day before the broadcast.

He thanked his parents for flying over from the UK to watch his debut, joking : "They have never been to Los Angeles before and they are already loving it, they are eating kale every day, my mum is getting a boob job next week."

A pre-recorded Charlie And The Chocolate Factory-themed sketch about how he got the coveted role included appearances from Simon Cowell, Girls creator Lena Dunham, Billy Crystal, Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne and comedian Chris Rock.

Further cameos from late-night talk show host Jay Leno, Shia LaBeouf, Meryl Streep and Arnold Schwarzenegger, who whipped him into physical shape while shouting "You don't look like a talk show host, you look like two", added to the star power on display before he brought out his guests, Hanks and Ted actress Kunis.

Kunis delivered an exclusive for his inaugural show by reluctantly revealing that she and partner Ashton Kutcher might have got married.

While much of the format was true to the traditions of American late-night talk shows, Corden has introduced some features which are similar to those of Graham Norton's BBC series.

Both guests were introduced and interviewed together and Corden stepped out from behind his desk to wheel a chair over and sit next to the stars.

Hanks addressed how unusual this is and joked: "Of course you guys do drive on the other side."

Within minutes of the show beginning, viewers lavished praise on the British star.

Twitter u ser @sunnydeedoherty, wrote: "Our apartment is watching #LateLateShow and swooning over the amazing James Corden. Brilliant."

Clinton Corley, using the handle @clintonINC, said: "Fantastic ... no one knows James Corden and he's got Jay Leno & a bunch of A-listers to do this video bit. Shows got possibilities."

The bevy of A-listers also impressed @soniasaraiya, who said: "It seems that so far the late late show with James Corden has pulled more celebrity cameos than the entire run of other talk shows," while @JohnneyTsunami commented: "James Corden is killing it on the late late show. He's such a charming guy" and fellow user Emily, using the name @_spacegandalf, said: "James Corden's a natural! Welcome to the late night circuit, sir! You'll fit right in."

Not all viewers were immediately convinced though. Twitter user Ron Wells, using the name @LasVegasRounder, said: "I don't think it's going to take 3 months for America to be over James Corden on the #LateLateShow. Only person laughing is him", while @jackObora said: "The all new #LateLateShow with James Corden is ... interesting so far. Good. The jury is still out."

Corden has already admitted taking on the show is a gamble but he maintains his humour can work across the pond, saying: "If it's good it travels."

The play he starred in, One Man, Two Guvnors, was a huge hit in London before it went on to similar success in New York and Corden won the 2012 best actor Tony Award.

He has professed to feeling like "the luckiest man on Earth", but admitted apprehension as to how his presenting style will be received.

Later in the week Corden will be joined by US actors Chris Pine and Will Ferrell.

Corden enjoyed a hike in viewers, according to Nielsen estimates.

Variety said that there was a 27% increase in viewers for The Late Late Show compared to the same night last year.

Figures were up 17% from the series average when Craig Ferguson hosted from September through to mid December, it said.

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