The Lowdown On… James Corden

August 12, 2008 by  
Filed under Reviews

james-corden.jpgAs up-and-coming stars go, they don’t get much bigger than James Corden. With a BAFTA, some quality writing credits and a successful comedy series under his belt, he’s definitely one to watch. Here’s the lowdown on the man himself.

Early Days

James Kimberley Corden was born on the 18th August 1978 (isn’t Kimberley a girl’s name…?) He grew up in Buckinghamshire and started studying drama at the Jackie Palmer Stage School. He was never a fan of academia, so didn’t bother with uni. His heart was set on drama.

Acting Up

Corden didn’t slip straight into acting roles after leaving school. It was eight years before he landed his first part. It was a bit of a demoralising time for the fledgling thesp. He says:

“I never worked at all, I don’t know why. I think it was the best thing that could have happened to me because it taught me about rejection from a really early age. At the time it was awful, all my friends were getting parts in paint adverts and stuff.”

He finally landed a part in the stage musical Martin Guerre followed by a stint as Jamie Ryder in Fat Friends. Small television roles followed, including a small part in the first series of Teachers in 2001, and a guest appearance in Little Britain.

His star started to rise when he got the part of Timms in the original London stage production of The History Boys, which toured Broadway, Sydney, Wellington and Hong Kong. But his biggest break came when BBC Three bought Gavin & Stacey which Corden co-wrote with his Fat Friends co-star Ruth Jones.

Prizes all round

Corden’s talent has been recognised across the board. He was nominated for the 2000 RTS Award for Network Newcomer for Fat Friends, and won Best Male Comedy Newcomer Comedy at the 2007 British Comedy Awards where Gavin & Stacey was given Best New British Television Show.

This year Corden won the BAFTA for Best Comedy Performance, guaranteeing him a place in the comic pantheon. And to top things off, Gavin & Stacey won the Sky+ Audience Award for Programme of the Year, beating shows like The Apprentice and Britain’s Got Talent.

That thing with Keira…

Something that Corden will always be remembered for is his cheeky speech at the Empire Awards. Presenting a gong to the absent Keira Knightley, he spoke of his ardent lovemaking session with the skinny actress, claiming that he’d “just been shagging her solid for the past three days? and that it was “quite dark, a lot of it.? The audience loved it.

… and Hollyoaks

During his early years as an actor, Corden had a small part in Hollyoaks as a caretaker of the local college. In a recent interview with Esquire Magazine he said he would rather die than go back on the show because he disliked the people so much. “I met a couple of really good friends there, but it’s (only) 20% nice people”, he said. Harsh, but probably fair.

… and Lily

Although Corden claims to be in a relationship with actress Sheridan Smith, the gossip mongers were quick to link him with Lily Allen after some pretty intense flirtation when he appeared on her show. Are they or aren’t they? Decide for yourself:

…and Becks

It seems that there are no lengths to which Corden won’t go to raise a laugh, even if this means stripping down to his smalls. He decided that if Becks could do it, so could he, and this charming take on Beckham’s Armani underwear ad was the result:



And now…

The future looks bright for young Mr. Corden. The public love him for his charm and self-deprecating wit. He is working on a second series of Gavin & Stacey for the BBC, and will be an executive producer for the US version of the show. He will co-star with Mathew Horne in a new sketch show called Horne and Corden, a comedy show in the style of Morecambe and Wise, as well as the intriguingly-titled film Lesbian Vampire Killers. Watch this space!

by Susie Gordon