EXCLUSIVE: 'Late Late Show' EPs on Celebrating London, Katy Perry's 'Surprising' 'Carpool' and an Adele Cameo
By Philiana Ng
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As The Late Late Show With James Corden gears up for its first of three live shows from London on Tuesday, the creative team behind the late-night program is looking to celebrate the city following recent attacks.
“It has been a difficult week to be here,” executive producer Ben Winston admits to ET, sharing that the Late Late Show staff is staying at a hotel just five minutes away from Saturday’s attack on London Bridge and nearby Borough Market. “You wake up on Sunday morning and you go, actually, London is carrying on and the atmosphere here is great, it’s one of resilience of strength.”
“It makes me even happier that we’re here this week,” Winston adds. “When would be a better place to show off the brilliance and character and joy than a week when such tragedy happens? If anything, it’s made us even more excited about being here and more excited about putting on three of the most entertaining and fun and wonderful shows we’ve ever done.”
At the top of Tuesday’s show, Corden addressed recent attacks in England with a touching two-minute love letter to his home country that Winston, who also praised Ariana Grande's "amazing" One Love Manchester benefit concert, and executive producer Rob Crabbe hinted would take place. (Security has also been beefed up for their live shows, Winston shares.)
"I'm proud to show off [London's] beauty, its diversity, and its stoic British determination to let nothing or anybody stand in our way." pic.twitter.com/U3CvFNFHnu
“It’s a hard thing not to talk about,” Crabbe says, re-emphasizing that they’re there “to celebrate London -- literally.” Adds Winston: “Then it’s business as usual.”
Expect a flurry of popular Corden segments, from Carpool Karaoke (Ed Sheeran) to Drop the Mic (Jennifer Hudson); viral sketches in the heart of London (Crosswalk the Musical with Sir Ben Kingsley, a Tom Cruise surprise on the River Thames); and A-list guests (Nicole Kidman, Harry Styles, David Beckham, among them). Beckham will also be joining Corden in a sketch where they both audition for James Bond -- our vote’s on Beckham! -- and “something very ambitious planned” with Emily Blunt.
“When you’re in a town like this, you have to take advantage of the landmarks and the beauty of it, and so we wanted to get out and we’re lucky enough to have some superstars come along for the ride,” Crabbe teases. “We will be doing some giant sketches and putting some British twists on our old favorites, like Drop the Mic.”
With the show in London and one of the biggest talents on the planet,Adele, hailing from England, could there be a chance for a cameo by the powerhouse singer? Sorry, looks like it’s not going to happen this time around!
“No, Adele is not going to be in this week’s shows, unfortunately. She’s not around in London, otherwise I’m sure she would’ve supported us. On this occasion, there is no Adele,” Winston says.
In May, Styles -- who was promoting his self-titled solo debut album -- was the first artist The Late Late Show booked for a week-long residency, allowing him to participate in a slew of sketches and even hijack the opening monologue. With the 23-year-old singer returning as a musical guest on Thursday’s show, Winston and Crabbe confess they’re still working out who a worthy second booking would be.
“We would certainly do it again. We haven’t really discussed it or given any thought to who it might be or could be, but we would never say no to something like that,” Crabbe says, with Winston adding that he “loved” Styles’ successful residency: “We’re definitely open to it in the future. We haven’t necessarily gotten an idea of who.”
Winston and Crabbe also addressed Katy Perry’s headline-making Carpool Karaoke, which aired as part of a primetime broadcast in late May, where they admit they didn’t foresee the 32-year-old “Swish Swish” singer being so forthcoming about her alleged feud with Taylor Swift.
“Yeah, I was actually,” Winston admits. “I was really surprised how open she was about it. It’s one of those things that you question someone on, you don’t necessarily expect them to be so open. It was the first and only time she spoke about it.”
“But I think that, hopefully, with a bit of James mediating, there can be peace in our times,” he said, jokingly. “The Late Late Show would love to be the team behind the beef being off the grill. If we can play a small part in the beef being off the grill, then we will be delighted to have solved one of pop’s biggest wars. That will be a beautiful thing.”
The Late Late Show broadcasts from London on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and will air 12:37 a.m. ET/PT on CBS.