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'Carpool Karaoke' Host James Corden Reveals Parents' Prayers Saved Him from a Wretched Life

( [email protected] ) Jun 30, 2016 11:25 AM EDT
James Corden, the wildly funny host of the The Late Late Show on CBS, has credited the prayers of his Christian parents with saving him from a life of depression, partying, and alcohol.
British comedian James Corden is the host of "The Late Late Show" on CBS. Getty Images

James Corden, the wildly funny host of The Late Late Show on CBS, has credited the prayers of his Christian parents with saving him from a life of depression, partying, and alcohol.

In an interview with BBC Radio 4 back in 2012, the British comedian said that while he was raised in a Christian home, he realized just how far he had fallen from his upbringing after exhibiting "ungracious, ungrateful and brattish" behavior at the 2008 Bafta awards.

"The person I had become wasn't the person I wanted to be," he told the Daily Mail. "I had drifted so far from family and friends that I didn't really know how to pick up the phone and talk to them anymore. I was lost and needed to find myself."

As he sat, alone and depressed in his London apartment, his devout Christian parents made an "out of the blue" visit, as they had been "worried" about him.

"My dad said, 'I'm going to say a prayer for you. It will be all right, but you can't carry on like this and only you can decide what happens now,'" the entertainer recalled.

"They sat on the tiny two-seater sofa and I sat on the floor," he said. "I was just talking to the floor really. I felt embarrassment that they were seeing me like this, so embarrassed about so many things - about the way I'd behaved or acted at points over that seven or eight-month period."

"My dad just stood up and walked across to where I was, and he just put his arms around me and said, 'You've just got to get through this, son.' I started to cry. Just as you do when your dad hugs you and you are 30. My mum came over and joined us and we sat there. My dad said, 'I'm going to say a prayer for you. It will be all right, but you can't carry on like this and only you can decide what happens now.'"

He wrote, "Every tear that left my eyes made me feel a little lighter. Dad said a prayer as he kissed my forehead, and Mum came over and joined the hug. I've no idea how long we stayed there, but it felt like a lifetime. When they left later on, Dad turned to me and said: 'You've so much to be thankful for, James. I know it's been a tricky year, but you can't carry on like this.'"

Four years later, Corden has put his damaging ways behind him and has two children with his wife, Julia. His star continues to rise: he hosted the Tony Awards earlier this month, and his Carpool Karaoke segment is one of the most popular sketches in late-night TV, drawing in everyone from Justin Bieber to Elton John. His most popular of these, the clip he filmed with singer Adele, has garnered more than 86 million views on YouTube.

Despite his success, Corden strives to remain humble as a reflection of his Christian faith: "However shocked you are that I am doing this job, you will never be as shocked as I am," he told audiences in opening The Late Late Show in 2015.

"It really isn't lost on me what a privilege it is to be given a show like this, and I will really do my best not to let any of you down. I promise it will be fun."