New Year Honours: Corden ‘thrilled’ with OBE

James Corden said his mother was worried about her outfit for her date with royalty
James Corden said his mother was worried about her outfit for her date with royalty

James Corden declared he was “thrilled, overwhelmed and honoured” to be awarded an OBE for his services to drama.

And the actor, writer and soon-to-be US chat show host joked that his mother was already concerned about her outfit for the date with royalty.

The 36-year-old father of two has become a familiar figure for appearances in BBC comedy drama Gavin & Stacey, his stewardship of quiz show A League Of Their Own, hosting the Brit Awards and and movie roles among others.

Corden will soon be seen in a prominent role alongside Johnny Depp and Meryl Streep in the film Into The Woods, and will take on one of the biggest gigs of his career, stepping in as the new host for popular US chat series The Late Late Show, replacing long-time presenter Craig Ferguson.

He said of his inclusion in the Honours list: “I’m thrilled, overwhelmed and honoured to be recognised in such a way. I feel very lucky to be born in a country where creativity is both encouraged and valued.

“My family are very proud. My mum is already fretting about what to wear.”

Corden discovered a talent for making people laugh while at school, to the detriment of his educational achievements, and had his stage acting break in the musical Martin Guerre at the age of 17, although he quit because he found it boring.

The star, who harboured dreams of being in a boy band as a teen, went on to land a TV role in a Channel 4 music business spoof Boyz Unlimited. He went on to find a regular role in the ITV drama Fat Friends, where he became pally with actress Ruth Jones.

Roles in the stage and film version of Alan Bennett’s The History Boys and the movie Starter For Ten ensured he became a familiar face, and he became a firm favourite thanks to the comedy series Gavin & Stacey which he co-wrote with Jones and which graduated from BBC3 to BBC1.

His rise has not been without the occasional hiccup, with his BBC sketch show with Mathew Horne and the movie Lesbian Vampire Killers showing he did not have an entirely gilded path.

But he landed serious acclaim for his acting abilities when he starred in the National Theatre, West End and Broadway runs of the production of One Man, Two Guvnors.

Corden has hosted the Brit Awards on four occasions – once alongside Horne and Kylie Minogue, and three times on his own – and has fronted A League Of Their Own for Sky for a number of years.