James Corden's Gone All USA: But Which Other Comedy Brits Have Flown Across The Pond?
A look at Britain's best comedy exports.
It looks like British favourite James Corden has successfully sealed his fate as another Brit over on American shores with his appointment as the new host of CBS’ Late Late Show all but confirmed by the broadcaster itself. Of course, just because he’s travelling over to the US to have a go in the host seat of a different studio does not automatically mean he’s going to be a hit and, so far, his selection has not been met with too raucous an applause, mainly because most Americans don’t know who he is.
James Corden is said to be the next host of American chat show, The Late Late Show
However, that’s not to say he won’t win his new state-side audience over because, if Corden has proved anything with his British career to date, it’s that he’s not too bad at his job.
Starting with Gavin and Stacey, the BAFTA awarding-winning comedy he starred in and co-wrote, he had a small dip with his next TV show attempt: Horne & Corden. However, he didn’t stay down for long and has been an enjoyable and more than capable host of Sky 1’s A League of their Own and handled five consecutive years of Brit Awards hosting with ease.
So it’s possible he’ll be a boy that’s done good in America after all but he’s not the first comedy actor to have tackled the USA and come out smiling.
Here are some of Britain’s best comedy acting exports.
Martin Freeman's comedy career started well in The Office
His international notoriety started small in Richard Curtis’ 2003 Christmas-themed romantic comedy, Love Actually and comic science fiction film, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy in 2005. More prominently he appeared in the final Simon Pegg and Nick Frost Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy, The World’s End, in 2013.
Of course, what has pushed Freeman firmly into the international eye is his turn as Bilbo Baggins in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit trilogy, of which the third and final film, The Battle of the Five Armies, is due to be released on 12 December in the UK and 17 December in the US.
His fame has also been heightened in the UK through his critically-acclaimed turn as Doctor Watson in the BBC’s Sherlock and in the US as Lester Nygaard in Fargo, complete with perfect South American drawl.
Ashley Jensen started in Extras and progressed to Ugly Betty
Another of Ricky Gervais’ comedic finds, Ashley Jensen appeared as socially inept but extremely well-meaning acting extra Maggie Jacobs in Extras. The critically-acclaimed show made the leap over to American soil shortly after its British success and Jensen received an Emmy nomination for her role.
Her comic ability clearly impressed American TV executives and Jensen was cast as Christina McKinney in the comedy-drama Ugly Betty. She appeared in seasons 1 - 3 as the Scottish seamstress and again for one episode in the fourth and final season.
Next page: which others stars have made it across the pond?