Belfast Telegraph

Corden 'overwhelmed' by his OBE

James Corden has declared he is "thrilled, overwhelmed and honoured" to be awarded an OBE for his services to drama.

And the actor, writer and soon-to-be US chat show host joked that his mother was already concerned about her outfit for the date with royalty.

The 36-year-old father of two has become a familiar figure for appearances in BBC comedy drama Gavin And Stacey, his stewardship of quiz show A League Of Their Own, hosting the Brit Awards and movie roles among others.

James will soon be seen in a prominent role alongside Johnny Depp and Meryl Streep in the film Into The Woods, and will take on one of the biggest gigs of his career, stepping in as the new host for popular US chat series The Late Late Show, replacing long-time presenter Craig Ferguson.

He said of his inclusion in the New Year Honours List: "I'm thrilled, overwhelmed and honoured to be recognised in such a way. I feel very lucky to be born in a country where creativity is both encouraged and valued.

"My family are very proud. My mum is already fretting about what to wear."

James discovered a talent for making people laugh while at school, to the detriment of his educational achievements, and had his stage acting break in the musical Martin Guerre at the age of 17, although he quit because he found it boring.

The star, who harboured dreams of being in a boy band as a teen, went on to land a TV role in a Channel 4 music business spoof Boyz Unlimited. He went on to find a regular role in the ITV drama Fat Friends, where he became pally with actress Ruth Jones.

Roles in the stage and film version of Alan Bennett's The History Boys and the movie Starter For Ten ensured he became a familiar face, and he became a firm favourite thanks to the comedy series Gavin And Stacey which he co-wrote with Jones and which graduated from BBC Three to BBC One.

Sheridan Smith, who is also made an OBE in the honours list, has not done badly for a self-proclaimed "complete chav".

The 33-year-old actress, who has picked up a Bafta and two Olivier Awards, said she was "overwhelmed" by her OBE.

She said: "I'm sincerely thankful and humbled to be recognised with such an honour. I'm overwhelmed and hope to continue doing the work that I love for many years to come."

Sheridan got her first real break in the business when she moved to London aged 16 for a part in the stage show Bugsy Malone.

Early TV success included minor parts in The Royle Family and Gavin And Stacey, as well as a more long-running role playing Janet in Two Pints Of Lager And A Packet Of Crisps.

Her career really took off in 2011 when her performance in the musical Legally Blonde won her an Olivier Award.

Standing backstage, stunned and still clutching her award, she told journalists: ''I'm a complete chav, I'm just a little scrubber from Doncaster and I can't believe I've just won an Olivier award.''

On the small screen, she won plaudits and a Bafta for her performance as the eponymous Mrs Biggs and also played Cilla Black in an ITV biopic.

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