It’s official: British writer, actor and comedian James Corden will replace Craig Ferguson as host of “The Late Late Show” in 2015, CBS announced Monday.
For the time being, the 36-year-old is largely unknown to audiences on this side of the pond, but he is a major star in Britain, thanks to his BAFTA-winning performance in the hit sitcom “Gavin and Stacey,” which he also co-wrote and co-produced.
The multitalented performer also won a Tony in 2012 for his role in the play “One Man, Two Guvnors,” and can currently be seen in the Keira Knightley romance “Begin Again.” He also writes, produces and stars in the Hulu comedy “The Wrong Mans,” and will appear as the Baker in Rob Marshall’s upcoming adaptation of the Stephen Sondheim musical “Into the Woods."
In a statement, CBS Entertainment chairman Nina Tassler highlighted Corden’s credentials while acknowledging his not-exactly-a-household-name status:
“He is the ultimate multi-hyphenate -- a writer, creator and performer who is loved and respected in every medium he touches, including theater, comedy, music, film and television. James is already a big star in the U.K., and he’s wowed American audiences on Broadway; we’re very excited to introduce his considerable and very unique talents to our network television audience on a daily basis.”
In the statement, Corden vowed to “do my very best to make a show America will enjoy.”
Producers and the production location for “The Late Late Show with James Corden” will be determined and announced at a later date, according to CBS.
Ferguson announced plans to step down from his job shortly after Stephen Colbert was named as David Letterman’s successor at “The Late Show” in April. Like Corden, Ferguson was deemed an unlikely choice when he took over “The Late Late Show” in early 2005. He is reportedly in talks with Tribune Media regarding a syndicated variety series.
Last month it was reported that Corden had been tapped for the 12:30 timeslot, beating out candidates rumored to have included Joel McHale, but CBS declined to comment at the time.
Some had hoped that CBS would use the vacancy at “The Late Late Show” to bring some diversity to late-night television, especially after chief executive Les Moonves made remarks in April that some interpreted to mean the network was eager to hire a woman.