He announced he was leaving The Late Late Show in 2023 as its host after eight years, and James Corden’s children play a big part in his decision to pack up and move back to the UK.
For Corden, the moment of realization came during a conversation with his son while he was filming the Prime Video drama Mammals. “One day I was filming on a Sunday and I came downstairs, it was about 6 a.m. and my son, who was 10 at the time, was sat on the stairs and he said, ‘Are you working today?’ and I said, ‘I am,’ and he said, ‘I thought, well it’s Sunday,’ and I said, ‘I know, buddy, but this schedule’s just all over the place. We just got to get it done because we only have a tiny amount of time before we have to go back and do the show,’ and his face just kind of dropped,” Corden recalled on an episode of The Drew Barrymore Show in 2023. “I got in the car and I called my wife Jules and I said, ‘I’ve realized, best case scenario, we have six more summers where Max even remotely wants to be around us and I cannot waste another one.’”
Corden said “his face just kind of dropped. … I got in the car and I called my wife Jules and I said, ‘I’ve realized, the best-case scenario we have six more summers where Max is like, even remotely wants to be around us and I cannot waste another one,’ ” he added. In an earlier interview, in June 2022, he told Extra: “My kids are getting older, their grandparents are getting older, and it perhaps just felt like the right time for us as a family to be freer in our decisions,” Corden explained.
In an interview with Baby, Corden described how much becoming a parent had changed his life for the better. “Fatherhood, in one sense, is a massive transformation in your life. But in another, it doesn’t feel that different. You’re the same person, but there’s a completeness to it all. The truth is I’ve loved every single minute of being a dad. It’s hard, of course, but all I have to do is look at my kids’ faces and it’s worthwhile. I feel incredibly blessed.”
Introducing James Corden and his wife Julia Carey’s three children.
Max McCartney Kimberley Corden
Born: March 22, 2011.
Corden and his wife Julia Carey welcomed their first child together in March 2011. The TV host told Baby that “once Max came home from hospital, I wanted all the responsibility from minute one. I don’t think you’re a hands-on dad until you’ve had your child’s poo under your fingernails. It’s at that point you can say you’re a proper father! Oh, and those times when you’d pop out for a drink and a mate would point out the sick on your shoulder.”
Max has two middle names, one of which is a nod to Beatles’ legend Sir Paul McCartney. He explained to People that he had recruited the musician to participate in a Comic Relief sketch with the promise that he would name his son after him. “I always come through on a promise,” Corden said. “I sent Paul a picture of Max’s birth certificate and he was so lovely about that. He couldn’t believe I went through with it.”
Max was actually the trigger for him pulling out of The Late Late Show and reassessing his priorities. “That is really all it comes down to,” he said in the Drew Barrymore show interview. “I will be a mess on that last show, I will cry my eyes out. But I will know in my core that the best thing for me and the best thing for us as a family is to put down some roots in London, and it feels absolutely right in every single way.”
Born: October 27, 2014
Corden’s second child is his daughter, Carey, who takes her first name from her mother’s maiden name. It was just a few weeks after her birth that he and his family packed up their life in London to move as host of The Late Late Show in Los Angeles. “What’s more scary? Being a father. No question,” he told People at the time. “It’s just a TV show. It all pales in significance.”
Born: December 12, 2017
Finally, James Corden’s youngest child is his daughter, Charlotte, the birth of whom he nearly missed—Carey went into labor in Los Angeles while he was in New York. “I jumped in a taxi and I booked a plane ticket on my phone on the way to the airport and I made it with about 20 minutes to spare before they’d have shut the gate,” he recalled to People at the time. “Then I had five hours on the plane and I was thinking ‘If I land and our daughter’s arrived, this is going to really suck’.”
He made it in time, however, and detailed the events on The Late Late Show upon his return on December 15, 2017. “Very unexpectedly, my wife gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. We’re over the moon. It’s been a whirlwind 48 hours. It really has,” Corden began his opening monologue. “Over the weekend, my wife started experiencing some sort of pain in her stomach. We checked it out,” he explained. “We thought it had gone away and we went into a routine checkup on Tuesday and suddenly the doctors turn to us and say, ‘Oh, no, this is probably happening today and this baby could arrive in the next few hours.’ ”
The 2018 Grammy Awards host added it was, “A complete shock; we were unprepared. It’s a really terrible thing, and your wife is eight and a half months pregnant, and the doctor is talking to her about very serious things about giving birth and there’s really no easy way to bring up the fact that you have to tape a show that day.”
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