James Corden says no-one believes he wasn’t fired from The Late Late Show

James Corden has admitted that he regularly has to clarify that he wasn’t fired from his US late-night show after its conclusion last year.

The Gavin and Stacey star hosted The Late Late Show with James Corden on CBS for eight seasons from 2015 and 2023, when he called time on the show.

Although the programme’s end was Corden’s decision, due to wanting to spend more time with his family in the UK, the 45-year-old presenter and actor revealed that his explanation often goes unbelieved.

Speaking on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Wednesday night (3 April), Corden said of his return to the UK from Los Angeles: “People are very nice. But no one believes that I wasn’t fired.”

After host Kimmel and the studio audience laughed, Corden continued: “I’ll be in a pub, and someone will be like, ‘So why’d you come back?’ And I’ll be like, ‘Well, [my son] Max has finished sixth grade, and we want him to have a relationship with his grandparents.’

“People will honestly be like, ‘You don’t have to give me that bulls***. It’s fine, mate. If you got fired, you got fired,’” Corden said. “Because nobody thinks you would ever leave what is – let’s be honest – a cushy existence.”

Kimmel then made a joking suggestion to his former network colleague, quipping: “Can’t you get a letter from CBS saying that you were not fired, that you left of your own free will?”

Corden replied: “I would, except they don’t know what CBS is.”

James Corden appearing on Jimmy Kimmel’s late night talk show (YouTube / Jimmy Kimmel Live)
James Corden appearing on Jimmy Kimmel’s late night talk show (YouTube / Jimmy Kimmel Live)

The 12-time Emmy winner shares three children with his wife, Julia: son Max, 13, and daughters Carey, nine, and six-year-old Charlotte.

In an interview with The Times in October 2022, the former Fat Friends actor shared some insight into his reasons for giving up his late-night show while recalling “really beautiful memories” of his childhood.

“Usually our holidays would be in a caravan, surrounded by concrete. But one summer we drove down to France in a camper van, listening to Paul Simon’s Graceland, and everything about that summer is so big in my head. That was why I quit The Late Late Show in the end.”

James Corden (Getty Images for Breakthrough Pr)
James Corden (Getty Images for Breakthrough Pr)

Corden now hosts a new podcast called This Life of Mine after striking a deal with audio platform SiriusXM in November.

The show launched in February and features in-depth discussions with Hollywood stars such as Kim Kardashian, Martin Scorsese and David Beckham they discuss “the people, places, moments and memories that made them who they are today”.

Later this year, Corden will also make his return to the London theatre scene starring alongside Anna Maxwell Martin in the new political drama The Constituent at the Old Vic.