James Corden is leaving The Late Late Show. “I’ve decided to sign on for one more year on the show and that this will be my last year hosting,” the Brit shared on his show Thursday as he discussed his departure. “When I started this journey, it was always going to be just that. It was going to be a journey, an adventure. I never saw it as my final destination, you know?”
James — who began hosting the program in 2015 after Craig Ferguson‘s departure — will extend his contract for one more year before signing off completely, adding in his speech how he never wanted the show to “overstay its welcome” although he loved making it. “I really think in a year from now that will be a good time to move on and see what else might be out there. Okay?” he concluded.
Although he was considered an unlikely choice for the show, James helped revitalize the 12:30pm slot, creating viral segments like Carpool Karaoke, Drop the Mic, Spill Your Guts, and more.
“There will be so many tears,” James continued in the speech to his audience. “‘Cause this has been the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make, it really has. I’ve never taken this job for granted. Ever. Not once. And… the fact that you watch us at home. Or you watch us online. Wherever you are, all over the world. The fact that we get to try and entertain you and spend time with you is an absolute privilege for me and every single person who makes this show.”
The talk show host concluded his speech with a toast to “the next 12 months” before he takes his final bow. “It’s going to be a blast, I promise you that!”
The Brit also shared with Deadline how “hard” the decision was to make. “I’m so immensely proud of the show. I’m thrilled to be extending [for a year],” he told the outlet. “I always thought I’d do it for five years and then leave and then I stayed on. I’ve really been thinking about it for a long time, thinking whether there might be one more adventure.”
The host, who also branched out into acting with parts in movies like Cats and Peter Rabbit, noted there’s “still some other things that I feel I want to do” in his career. “I’d like to try and write. There’s some [stories] I’d like to tell. I’d like to see if I’m capable of it. The fact that it’s terrifying is the reason to do it,” he added to the outlet.
“I’ll miss the adrenaline of thinking ‘Next week I’m going to jump out of a plane with Tom Cruise or in two weeks’ time, we’re going to drive around the White House in a car with Michelle Obama or sing ‘Penny Lane’ with Paul McCartney driving down Penny Lane,” he said. “All of my greatest ambitions for what it what [the show] could be, it’s absolutely surpassed all of them. My intention is to try and go out in exactly the same way we came in, which is just going out with a with a bang.”