James Corden was tearful as his proud parents watched his final The Late Late Show in LA last night – but in typical style his mother told him to ‘p*** off’ when he cracked a joke about her having Botox.
Margaret and Malcolm Corden are their son’s biggest fans and greatest defenders, insisting that only they and his sisters can criticise his work or call him a ‘prat’ or a ‘d***head’ if he steps out of line.
Friends say James’ love and talent for comedy and music is no surprise. Malcolm is a talented musician in a Royal Air Force band, and by accounts, something of a raconteur. Social worker mum Margaret is said to be ‘really funny’, exemplified by her wisecrack on air last night.
Mr and Mrs Corden were visibly emotional during his US TV farewell until James cracked a joke about his mother having Botox and collagen lips to make them laugh – and also prevent himself from breaking down.
His siblings, who describe themselves as James’ ‘slightly sweary sisters’ in their podcast, were also in California to support him. Ruth and Ange have even claimed that they helped him towards his Late Late Show gig, because on long car journeys as children they would do their own chat show in the back with James as host.
James’ parents Margaret and Malcolm made the trip across the pond for the final Late Late Show episode
Mrs Corden choked up as she described giving her son a kiss before he went on stage
James almost cried himself when his mother and father choked up, so cracked a joke about his mum having Botox
The Cordens together at Wembley in 2021. They are his biggest fans and also critics when he has behaved badly in the past, they have said
His family have rallied around him throughout his career, including in recent years amid complaints about his behaviour, and especially when critics have been unkind about Corden’s work, insisting only they should truly be able to criticise him.
On one occasion when British movie critic Mark Kermode described James as ‘appallingly irritating’ in Peter Rabbit, Malcolm Corden wrote in to the BBC and said in a letter read out on air: ‘Only I can call him appalling’.
Last night Mr and Mrs Corden flew across the Atlantic to be at their son’s side for his final show, revealing they gave him a kiss and a hug back stage before he went on.
The 44-year-old British comedian acknowledged them in the audience when starting his monologue.
‘My mum and dad are here. Are you okay, mum, dad, are you holding it together?’ he asked his parents.
His mother Margaret – who raised the late-night talk-show host with her husband in Hazlemere, Buckinghamshire – said she was fine before crying.
‘Until you ask me to give you a kiss before we came on and then I was gone,’ Margaret said, choking back tears.
To lighten the mood, James said: ‘I didn’t even know you could move your face that much since all of your Botox,’ he said as the crowd started laughing, as Margaret responded, ‘Oh p**s off.’
Corden added: ‘She said to me last night, she said we would still be able to come out here and she said why She said there is a certain collagen for my lips that I can’t get at home’.
The British comedian said he had ‘struggled to find the words’ to describe his emotions after more than eight years of hosting the US talk show – turning down a reported $40million contract with CBS to return home to Britain to spend more time with his wife Julia Carey and their son Max and two daughters Carey and Charlotte.
He is being tipped for top jobs in British TV, including potentially replacing Jonathan Ross on ITV’s top chat show.
His time in the US has been a great success, but there have been repeated claims about poor behaviour on set and out and about with family, including an alleged restaurant meltdown over his wife’s omelette.
Ruth and Ange Corden insist their family dynamic hasn’t changed, although they admit they have enjoyed some of the trappings of their brother’s fame and fortune, including some private jet travel
James Corden with wife Julia Carey and parents Malcolm and Margaret after he was awarded an OBE. James is heading back to the UK to be closer to his family
Malcolm Corden (pictured with wife Margaret) left the BBC in no doubt about how they feel about their son after a poor review, declaring: ‘Only I can call him appalling’
In 2020 he revealed he had therapy to stop being ‘a brat’ after fame went to his head following the runaway success of Gavin & Stacey.
The comedian said he found fame ‘intoxicating’ and believes he didn’t handle his sudden public recognition well after the sitcom he co-created took off.
Speaking to The New Yorker, he said: ‘I started to behave like a brat that I just don’t think I am,’ with his family and Gavin and Stacey co-star Rob Brydon forced to step in.
‘It’s so intoxicating, that first flush of fame,’ James explained. ‘And I think it’s even more intoxicating if you’re not bred for it.’
The Late Late Show host’s parents prayed for him, and his sisters tried to speak to him about what a ‘d***head’ he was being.
His mother, Margaret, said: ‘You can try and say, “Look, James, you’re making a prat of yourself”, but you can only do so much. [His sisters] would come in and say to James, “Don’t be a d***head”. ‘
His sisters Ruth and Ange have also been a major influence on their brother. Including in Gavin and Stacey.
‘Rudi was my nickname growing up, and while I’m nothing like the character I think Ange would recognise that relationship,’ his sister Ruth said in a recent interview. ‘Especially the immature name-calling’, she added.
‘We’ve continued to be the same family, whether he’s hosting The Late Late Show or when he was working in the local supermarket,’ Ange said, adding: ‘And I think that’s really important to him too, to know that we will always be those people in his life and that nothing will ever change regardless of what he’s doing.’
She said of their parents: ‘People say to them all the time that they must be so proud of James and they say, “We’re proud of all of our children”.’
Emotional: James Corden teared up as he signed off on his The Late Late Show hosting gig after eight years
Too much to handle: Corden was so overwhelmed that he put his head down on his desk
Final show: For his last ever show, James welcomed his pal Harry Styles and Will Ferrell for a chat on the sofa
Virtual appearance: The President didn’t drop by the studio, but instead filmed a short video appreciation of Corden’s eight-year stint on the series from what appeared to be the White House
Best friends: The singer was incredibly emotional as she joined James for his final show in a pre-recorded segment
Waking up: Adele woke up James for a final segment of Carpool Karaoke – his most popular sketch where he drives around Los Angeles with celebrities and sing songs
The final Late Late Show saw appearances from musical megastar Harry Styles and Will Ferrell, following on from an hour-long primetime special featuring Tom Cruise and Adele.
In his final monologue, Corden thanked his production team and writers, and said it was ‘unfathomable’ that CBS had ‘taken a chance on me’, adding he would be ‘forever grateful’.
‘I’ve been thinking for a while, the last few weeks, about what I was gonna say as we come to the end of the show after this wonderful adventure,’ he said.
‘And I have, if I’m honest … I’ve struggled to find the words to sum up what this past eight years has meant to me, is almost impossible. I, frankly … I don’t know where to start.
‘But I sit here now today with nothing but love, gratitude and pride.’
He added: ‘Moving here to America eight years ago, it was a huge leap for me and my family.
‘All we’ve ever wanted is just be a little bit of light and levity at the end of your day.
‘Thank you for letting me do this, thank you for letting me into your home every night.’
Earlier, Corden played a final game of Spill Your Guts Or Fill Your Guts – involving answering questions or eating disgusting food – with Styles and Ferrell, upon the actor’s specific request.
The questions included favourite late night show hosts, whether there would be a One Direction reunion, and which of his two guests Corden preferred.
Styles, who has appeared on the show multiple times both as part of One Direction and individually, told Corden he was ‘very proud of everything you’ve done’ and that he had been an ‘inspiration’.
‘Selfishly, I’m very happy that you’re coming home, I love you so much,’ he said, before the pair embraced.
The final episode also included several sketches, including one featuring Corden’s fellow US late night talk show hosts.
Seth Myers, Jimmy Kimmel, Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon and David Letterman all appeared in the skit when they discussed his retirement plans and argued over who would take over Carpool Karaoke.
Concluding the show, he took to the piano to deliver a song, summing up his time as host, at the end of which he became audibly emotional and left the studio to a standing ovation.
Frequent visitor: Styles has been a frequent visitor to the show and once took part in a more than 11-minute segment featuring a UK Vs. US dodgeball game with a host of stars
Having a laugh: Biden looked back on Corden’s visit to the White House in 2022, when he played the role of an intern and assistant to Biden. The hilarious clip showed Corden presenting the President with an edible arrangement of fruits
Top Gun: James Corden said ‘hakuna matata’ with a familiar face Tom Cruise for the primetime special
Fellow hosts: Seth Meyers, Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon, Stephen Colbert and David Letterman all appeared in a pre-taped segment with Corden
What a way to go out: James ended his run on US late night television by performing a piano ballad with several references to his 1,200 episodes over the years
Opening the primetime special, aired shortly before the main show, Corden sang an ode to Los Angeles, from the roof of the CBS studios.
The special also featured the final run out of one of the show’s most popular segments, Carpool Karaoke, which sees Corden ‘drive to work’ assisted by major musical stars.
The segment has seen him interview some of the biggest names in the music industry, including Sir Paul McCartney, Adele and The Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Easy On Me singer Adele returned to the car for the final session, this time ‘driving’ Corden to work for the final time.
The skit saw Adele arrived at Corden’s home, waking him up with cymbals, before starting the trip, despite admitting her poor driving skills.
The pair sang several of her hits and a musical number, and reminisced about the past eight years of his tenure on The Late Late Show, before becoming emotional.
Corden also sought to seek revenge on years of ‘life threatening scenarios’ inflicted on him by Hollywood star Cruise by challenging him to take part in a live performance of the Lion King – delivering the ‘mission’ to him while the actor was mid-skydive.
The pair later appeared onstage as Timon and Pumba to shrieks of delight from the unexpecting audience, though later tensions appeared to rise.
‘You’re a big movie star, you’re gonna have more projects to promote and when that happens, you’re just going to find yourself another late night host,’ Corden said.
Cruise retorted: ‘I’m not the one turning my back on everything that we have, everything that we’ve created. This is your last show. You did this to us!’
But after a heart-felt rendition of Can You Feel The Love Tonight, punctuated by clips of Cruise’s appearances on the show, the pair made up on a helipad.
Following his departure from The Late Late Show, Corden has said he plans to move back to the UK with his family in order to spend more time with relatives.
James Corden’s final show primetime special: Late night host and Tom Cruise hilariously perform in The Lion King play live in final Late Late Show stunt together
The 44-year-old chat show host was joined by Tom Cruise in their final stunt for the popular CBS show together as they hit the live theater stage to perform in The Lion King.
It all began on The Last Last Late Late Show: Primetime Special that aired Thursday in primetime with James saying he sent Cruise, 60, a message to see if he would do one last mission with him.
Then he played a clip that showed James and Tom from a year ago in a fighter plane together over the Mojave desert.
‘Somewhere, before it’s all done we’ve got to do a musical together,’ Tom said. ‘Take a year and just study and do a musical like that.’
One last ride: James Corden was joined by Tom Cruise in their final stunt for the popular CBS show together as they hit the live theater stage to perform in The Lion King
‘This is too bizarre for me,’ James said. ‘I have to take a minute and realize I’m in a fighter jet flying over the mountains while talking to Tom Cruise about doing a musical.’
Then the clip jumped to two weeks ago and showed Tom jumping out of plane pulling out his phone with James on the line while the Mission Impossible theme played. James said it was time for their last adventure and invited him to lunch with him on Hollywood Boulevard.
Tom then joined James at the Pantages Theater on Hollywood Blvd.
‘You boy are in the theater,’ James said. ‘Have I got a treat for you? In the eight years, I’ve been hosting the show. We’ve been skydiving, you’ve flown me upside down and today you are going to enter my world. You and I are going to enter the cast of the biggest show in Broadway history. We will perform live in The Lion King. What do you say?’
‘I say no,’ Tom said.
James hugged him and said he was going to love it. James then introduced Tom to the cast.
‘Limited or no theatrical experience,’ James said as he described Tom’s theatrical background.
James said they were going to perform live in the evening in front of an audience. Tom bolted with James running after him. James had him spin around and dance with him backstage. They played around with the show’s puppets.
Bond: It all began on The Last Last Late Late Show: Primetime Special that aired Thursday in primetime with James saying he sent Cruise, 60, a message to see if he would do one last mission with him
Getting ready: James and Tom practiced some dance moves before the performance
At the night’s performance, James and Tom waited backstage in their costumes. James wore a green suit while Tom wore a giant black wig. Tom got into a wild warthog costume while James in a green costume stood before a lion puppet moving it around.
They both got on the stage and sang Hakuna Matata. The crowd cheered for them. Tom and James came back on stage, bowed for the crowd and accepted rose bouquets.
Later, Tom told James he was going out with some of the cast. James told Tom that he wasn’t going.
‘You don’t have to pretend anymore, Tom,’ James said. ‘I know how this works. You’re a big movie star and you are going to have more projects to promote and when that happens you are just going to find yourself another late night host.’
‘You tell me I’m wrong,’ James continued. ‘When Mission Impossible 12 comes out, you are not going to think of me.’
‘This is your last show, you did this to us,’ Tom said.
The two then sang Elton John’s song Can You Feel The Love Tonight and ran into each other’s arms as clips of their previous skits played. A helicopter landed on the roof, Tom got into it and flew away.
Also on the special was Corden’s highly-anticipated last Carpool Karaoke with Adele.
Killed it: Tom got into a wild warthog costume while James in a green costume stood before a lion puppet moving it around as they sang Hakuna Matata
Drinking alone: Tom drank alone without James who was worried the star would find a new talk show host
On roof: A helicopter landed on the roof, Tom got into it and flew away
Big surprise: Adele surprised James by waking him up with cymbals before giving him a ride to work
The 34-year-old singer broke down in tears discussing her divorce from Simon Konecki in the emotional video that was released on Monday.
While things started jovial, the mood soon turned somber when the Grammy winner revealed that James – who was also holding back tears – had helped her through the split by going on holiday together.
She then revealed for the first time that a verse in her song I Drink Wine was inspired by James when he turned to the singer for advice as he was having his own tough time in life.
‘[The verse] was inspired by a conversation that you and I had, and it was the 4th of January, 2020 or something, and we’d been on vacation together with the kids…’ Adele began.
Adele – who finalized her divorce with Simon in March 2021, two years after announcing their split – revealed that she went on a family vacation with James, his wife Julia Carey, their three children, and her son Angelo, 10.
‘And we were on our way home and my mood had changed and it was like the first year that I felt like I had to hold myself accountable, for just being an adult, whereas the year before that I left Simon, you and Jules and the kids were so integral in looking after me and Angelo,’ she said breaking down in tears.
Emotions running high: Adele broke down in tears discussing her divorce from Simon Konecki as she filmed the final Carpool Karaoke with James Corden in an emotional video that was released on Monday
Confessional: Adele reveals a verse in her song I Drink Wine was inspired by James, 44, when he later turned to her for advice as he was having his own tough time in life
Saying her goodbyes: Adele admitted to James that she doesn’t feel ‘ready’ to return to home to the UK, otherwise she would be considering coming with him
‘You used to do it with humour as well, you used to be like, ‘good luck with that one!’ with any sort of thing that I was pursuing, and you were always so, you were like an adult with me, you and Julia would always give me this advice.’
However, Adele explained that when it was James’ turn to ask her for advice – hinting that he wasn’t happy with his life in America – the singer admitted it made her feel ‘unsafe.’
Talking about a six-hour conversation the pair had when times were tough, James explained: ‘It was work stuff, and the Internet, and all those things.’
Despite his popular show, James has been no stranger to controversy – with his alleged rude behavior called out last year by restaurant owner Keith McNally.
Adele then responded: ‘It got me thinking, I felt so unsafe, with you feeling unsafe, because you’ve always been like [the adult] you have, since I was like 21.’
‘And then I went to the studio a couple of weeks later, and I wrote this and I sang it into my phone and I sent it to you and I do remember you saying, ‘That’s exactly how I was feeling.”
James interjected, saying: ‘It was everything that I was feeling that day. I was floored by how you’d managed to take everything that I was feeling myself, and… life, and just put it in a verse.
Memories: The pair both reminisced about their friendship – with Adele revealing that they’ve known one another since the beginning of her career
Tears and laughter: The pair both laughed as well as cried while talking about James’ decision to leave the US
Comforting: Several times James was seen comforting Adele as she got emotional
Some of the lyrics they sang along to included the lines: ‘How come we’ve both become a version of a person we don’t even like? We’re in love with the world, but the world just wants to bring us down, by putting ideas in our heads, that corrupt our hearts somehow.’
Holding back tears, James it called it a ‘privilege’ that Adele had managed to capture how he was feeling and put it into one of her songs.
However, the segment was kicked off in a much lighter tone, when the Someone Like You singer played a prank on James by turning up at his home in LA.
Sneaking into his bedroom, Adele gave James a rude awakening with crash cymbals as she told that she would be driving him into work.
As they began their journey to CBS studios, James was seen in the passenger seat for a change as the two pals got ready to sing together.
However, things get off to a shaky start as the Tottenham-born megastar told James she is ‘s****ting herself being behind the wheel, adding: ‘I’m actually not a brilliant driver.’
Then and now: Adele with first husband Simon Konecki at 2013 Grammys, and right with current boyfriend Rich Paul at the 2023 Grammys
Emotional: At one point, Adele teared up as she spoke to James about his show ending
Adele is switching things up for host James Corden on the final Carpool Karaoke series – as the Grammy winner gets behind the driver’s seat for a change
After launching into a rendition of her hit Rolling in the Deep, Adele has James in hysterics as she starts asking him questions about Carpool Karaoke saying: ‘There’s been some bloody brilliant ones, and some s*** ones too.’
Talking about it being his very last carpool, James admitted that he was ‘excited’ and ‘scared’ with Adele agreeing: ‘Yeah I bet.’
‘I don’t know – it’s been a crazy eight years, in one sense it feels like it’s gone like that (clicks fingers) and in another I feel like I don’t remember what life was like before being here,’ a teary-eyed James said.
Adele then revealed how James leaving is personally affecting her. ‘I’ve never lived in LA without you guys so I’m like a bit nervous about it.
Prank: The video starts with Adele pranking James Corden at his home in LA
Surprise! Adele is filmed as she plans to wake up James before driving him into work
Rude awakening: James is woken up by Adele crashing cymbals above him in bed
Fun and games: The old pals flipped between laughter and tears throughout the drive
The pair also reveal a story about how James had tried to set up an elaborate prank to fool Adele into thinking that a wild bear was on the loose in Beverly Hills.
But things got off to a rocky start when Adele arrived early and her assistant spotted that there were secret cameras in the room.
Despite going to great lengths to pull it off – including getting Gayle King to record a spoof news report on the bear – James cut it short when he could see Adele was getting uncomfortable.
Later, James addressed Adele’s ‘EGO’ status now that she has won an Emmy, Grammy and an Oscar – and would just need a Tony Award to earn the prestigious ‘EGOT’ status.
‘I really don’t think that is ever going to happen,’ Adele laughed.
‘I would never write a musical or anything like that… because I f***ing hate musicals. I also think the EGO suits me better’
However, that doesn’t stop Adele from singing along to Barbra Streisand’s Don’t Rain On My Parade from the musical Funny Girl.
After yet another emotional sing-song to Adele’s Hometown Glory, the pair started to tear up again as Adele told him: ‘You’re one of my best friends in the whole world.’
Wiping away her tears Adele added: ‘I’m just not ready to come back [to the UK] yet. Otherwise I would come back with you.’
James ended the show saying he had done 1,200 late shows over the last eight years.
‘I want to take this minute right now in primetime to thank everybody who has worked here on the show,’ James said. ‘This family, this team, I love you so much. I will miss you. And I hope you are feeling as proud as I do at the show that we created.’
James then played his favorite clips from over the years including clips of his very first show, having tea with Prince Harry, playing basketball with Michelle Obama, eating food with Cher, and doing carpool Karaoke with Lady Gaga, Paul McCartney and Michelle Obama.
Giving thanks: ‘I want to take this minute right now in primetime to thank everybody who has worked here on the show,’ James said. ‘This family, this team, I love you so much. I will miss you. And I hope you are feeling as proud as I do at the show that we created’
James also thanked everyone who ever watched the show.
‘Thank you for watching,’ James said.
He then walked out and greeted the audience.
James was back on CBS a short time later for the final episode of The Late Late Show that featured Harry Styles and Will Ferrell as his last guests.