London — James Corden has brought “The Late Late Show” to London for the last time. The host and his talk show are back in Corden’s native England for the first time in three years, making a return just a couple months after hefrom helming the broadcast next year after a hugely successful eight-year run.
“It’s just time,” Corden told CBS News in his London studio. “It’s time to go. It’s time to go and try and do something else. It’s that. That’s it, really. I just have to go and have a look around and see if there’s another adventure out there.”
Whether he sees that adventure unfolding back in the U.S., or closer to his original home here in Britain, Corden wouldn’t say.
“There are such bigger life things than just about my career. It becomes about schools and families and all those things,” Corden said. “But we’re not set on anything at all. We haven’t made our mind up on, on anything whatsoever.”
In a statement, CBS President and CEO George Cheeks said: “We wish he could stay longer, but we are very proud he made CBS his American home and that this partnership will extend one more season on ‘The Late Late Show.'”
Under that contract, Corden will deliver upwards of 200 more shows through next spring. He told CBS News that his eight-year run had been a blur.
“I don’t know if I’ll ever truly realize what we did with this show, how far the odds were stacked against us, and how we just managed to somehow pull it off. It was in my head that we would be on the air for three months, and then be fired,” he said, adding: “It wasn’t an if, it was a when.”
Instead, “The Late Late Show” — and the host himself, who arrived in the U.S. a relatively unknown actor and comedian — went stratospheric. He did it in large part by blowing up the internet.
Corden’s trademark “Carpool Karaoke” segment featuring Adele holds the YouTube record for the most-watched late night clip ever, with more than 255 million views.
And there aren’t many people, let alone talk show hosts, who get to go joyriding in a jet with Tom Cruise. That was one of this season’s highlights.
Corden said one of the segments that hit home for him was joining Paul McCartney in a journey to the Beatles’ old neighborhood in Liverpool, and a surprise performance at a local pub.
“I sort of knew when we were doing it that we might be capturing something special,” Corden told us. “When I watched the cut and the edit of it, I remember turning to my best friend Ben [Winston, executive producer of his show] and saying, ‘That’s the best thing we’ll ever shoot.'”
The London shows include Carpool Karaoke with Lizzo, guest appearances from Ed Sheeran, Billie Eilish and Vin Diesel, and even a segment shot inside the Oval Office with President Joe Biden.
On meeting the U.S. president, Corden said he was “just completely blown away by his empathy and compassion. It was extraordinary.”
The British TV star admits it will be tough to walk away from his show when the time comes, but he said he simply doesn’t know what else he could do to keep it interesting.
“I never, ever wanted this to be something I was ever bored with, or just the ‘thing that I do,'” Corden told CBS News.
“We can’t jump out of another plane with Tom Cruise or fly in a fighter jet with Tom Cruise or drive down Penny Lane singing ‘Penny Lane’ with Paul McCartney or shoot Carpool Karaoke with Adele,” he said. “There has to come a point — you have to, you have to make a decision and go.”