James Corden made one of the biggest moves of his career as he debuted as the host of a major American talk show.
The Gavin And Stacey star was joined by guests Tom Hanks and Mila Kunis for his eagerly-anticipated first episode of The Late Late Show, which also featured pre-recorded cameos from Oscar winner Meryl Streep, former late night talk show host Jay Leno and The West Wing actress Allison Janney.
Just two A-listers joining Corden for his debut (Clint Spaulding/AP)
Within minutes of the show airing at 12.35am ET (4.35am GMT) on US network CBS, viewers took to Twitter to lavish praise on the British star.
Our apartment is watching #LateLateShow and swooning over the amazing James Corden. Brilliant.
— Danielle (@sunnydeedoherty) March 24, 2015
Fantastic…no one knows James Corden and he got Jay Leno & a bunch of A-listers to do this video bit. Shows got possibilities #LateLateShow
— Clinton Corley (@clintonINC) March 24, 2015
it seems that so far the late late show with james corden has pulled more celebrity cameos than the entire run of other talk shows
— sonia saraiya (@soniasaraiya) March 24, 2015
James Corden is killing it on the late late show. He’s such a charming guy.
— John (@JohnneyTsunami) March 24, 2015
— Emily (@_spacegandalf) March 24, 2015
Not all viewers were immediately convinced though.
— Ron Wells (@LasVegasRounder) March 24, 2015
The all new #LateLateShow with James Corden is… interesting so far. Good? The jury is still out.
— Jack Obora (@JackObora) March 24, 2015
The 36-year-old, who takes over from Scottish-born Craig Ferguson, taped the show the day before the broadcast in front of a live audience at CBS Studios in Los Angeles.
Ted actress Mila Kunis delivered an exclusive for his inaugural show by reluctantly revealing that she and partner Ashton Kutcher might have got married.
Asked by James if she had tied the knot, she replied: “I don’t know, maybe.”
Mila Kunis gave James Corden an exclusive (Paul A. Hebert/AP)
Prompted by gestures from Tom, the host inspected the huge ring on Mila’s hand and declared, “Oh you got married! They got married everyone! Oh my God, Mr and Mrs Kutcher!”
James has already admitted taking on the show is a gamble, but he maintains his humour can work across the pond, saying: “If it’s good it travels.”
He told CBS News: “There’s a weird thing with us in Britain that we would go, ‘Oh, will this work in America?’ No one in American is ever going, ‘I wonder if this’ll work in Britain!’”
The play he starred in, One Man, Two Guvnors was a huge hit in London before it went on to similar success in New York and James won the 2012 Best Actor Tony Award for his work.
He has professed to feeling like ‘the luckiest man on earth’, but admitted apprehension as to how his presenting style will be received.
He told the Guardian at the weekend: “These shows are bred on familiarity. It’s going to take a really long time to get anybody to watch it.”
And he urged people not judge the reaction prematurely.
“To judge it on a night or a month or six months, it’s the equivalent of trying a souffle after it’s been in the oven for 10 minutes.”
Chris Pine (Jordan Strauss/AP)
Later in the week James will be joined by US actors Chris Pine and Will Ferrell.
The show’s producers along with James have already said they intend to use a British technique that does not happen as often on US chat shows – bringing all the guests on together.
Hoping it will spark some spontaneity, James said: “Seeing people interact in a way that is a bit more interesting.”