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James Corden reveals thoughts on UK return after glam LA lifestyle - exactly one year after quitting talk show

The British TV star listed the things he loves about his home country in a heartfelt speech

Emmy Griffiths
TV & Film Editor
April 29, 2024
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James Corden has opened up about his joy at moving back to the UK at the Variety Club Showbusiness Awards, where he was honoured with the Silver Heart award for Global Achievement in Broadcasting, Acting & Comedy. 

The dad-of-three’s good friend and Gavin and Stacey co-creator Ruth Jones introduced him, calling him “one of the most generous, kind-hearted, supportive people I have ever met”. She added: “It’s my privilege to call him my dear friend.” 

WATCH: Gavin and Stacey star comments on new series amid James Corden's UK return - details

She also joked about the introduction to James, which included a highlight reel of his career, saying: “I wasn’t in that. I’m not being funny but I made him the man he is!” 

Taking to the stage, James opened up about returning to the UK and leaving the Hollywood lifestyle behind. “I kept coming back to the notion that I will never be able to quite understand how lucky I am and I think about it a lot," he said. "I’ve thought about it every day since I moved home.

Ruth starred as Mother Superior in the production and the pair looked so happy to be reunited © Dave Benett
James Corden and Ruth Jones attend the press night after party for Sister Act: The Musical

“I went to America and lived there for eight years and over the last six or seven months at various school gates or high streets, people have said to me – it’s been [pouring] with rain – and almost every day someone’s said to me, ‘God I bet you’re glad you came back to this, aren’t you?’ 

“Without an ounce of irony or agenda I’ve been able to say, ‘I am over the moon to be here.’ I wish you could see it from a distance. I wish you could see it from a distance of being 13,000 miles away. 

"I wish you could see the place you’re in, the city you’re in, the country you’re in, immensely flawed but astoundingly brilliant. I would urge you tomorrow and the rest of the week and right through to [next year's] election to really look around, look up every now and then, and see this extraordinary architecture and this extraordinary place.” 

James Corden and Julia Carey attend the 2023 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on March 12, 2023 in Beverly Hills, California© Lionel Hahn
James Corden and his wife Julia Carey

The 45-year-old continued: “A year ago yesterday my show ended and every day I’ve thought how lucky I am to have a friend like Ruth Jones who has carried me and supported me and nurtured me through countless moments in my life. 

"How lucky am I to have a wife and children at home who have come on this adventure with me? How lucky am I to have gotten a start in a country with the BBC and National Theatre and government-funded arts? How lucky am I to stand here in a room with all of you and this extraordinarily talented group… Thank you very, very much. I appreciate it.” 

Julia Carey and James Corden attend the 2023 Costume Institute Benefit celebrating "Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty" at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 01, 2023 in New York City© Taylor Hill
Julia Carey and James Corden lived in LA for eight years

Back in December 2022, in an interview with The Morning Show, James opened up about quitting The Late Late Show, saying: “The reason to leave is we're a long way from home in Los Angeles. And there [are] people at home that are getting older, and we want our kids to know them and be around them.”

Additional Reporting by Francesca Shillcock

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