Belfast Telegraph

Corden's rise from Essex to LA

His career has so far taken him from a town in Essex to the Broadway stage, but James Corden looks set for his biggest challenge yet.

The 36-year-old father-of-two, who is perhaps best-known in Britain for his role as the likeable mate in sitcom Gavin And Stacey, based in Essex and Wales, is preparing to be beamed into living rooms across the US as he takes up the role as host of one of the country's most popular television shows.

The comedian, who was awarded an OBE in December for his services to drama, will take over as presenter of The Late Late Show from Scottish-born comedian Craig Ferguson, who spent 10 years as host.

Corden, who grew up in Buckinghamshire, 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 then played 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 & Stacey, which he co-wrote with Jones and which graduated from BBC3 to BBC1.

His rise has not been without the occasional hiccup, with his BBC sketch show with Mathew Horne and the movie Lesbian Vampire Killers showing he did not have an entirely gilded path.

But he landed serious acclaim for his acting abilities when he starred in the National Theatre, West End and Broadway runs of the production of One Man, Two Guvnors.

The comedian has already enjoyed TV presenting roles, hosting football shows A League Of Their Own and James Corden's World Cup Live, as well as fronting the Brit Awards for four years in a row.

But the TV funnyman has admitted his fears over how his new role may pan out, saying it could be "a bumpy ride".

Corden, whose role as Smithy in Gavin And Stacey often played on his weight, has shed six stone ahead of the launch of his TV career in the US.

In his personal life Corden, who has moved from London to Los Angeles with his family, has spoken of the joy his two children have brought him, saying the birth of his second child, a daughter Carey, last year had made his family complete.

He is married to Julia, and they have an older son Max.

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