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James Corden on challenging anti-LGBT prejudice in Trump's America

The Late Late Show host talks his journey towards becoming an ally in Attitude's Style issue.

2018-02-28

When it comes to LGBT+ issues, James Corden is a straight man with a solid - although not spotless - record as an ally.

After becoming a British household name thanks to BBC comedy Gavin & Stacey a decade ago, the 39-year-old actor's star has sky-rocketed since he landed a Stateside role hosting The Late Late Show in 2015.

Since then, James has made of point of using his platform to champion LGBT equality: Perhaps most famously, in 2017 he performed a song in protest at President Trump’s proposed ban on transgender troops serving in the US military.

“That’s one of the biggest political points we’ve made as a reaction to something currently happening under the Trump administration,” Corden explains the Attitude new Style issue - available to download and in shops now.

“What we always try to do is to think, ‘What is our show’s point of view on this?’ Because you can stand up and make a statement or you can sit on a desk and make a statement but we’re thinking, ‘What is the way that our show can do that?’”

The 39-year-old presenter continues: “It was so well written. As soon as [the writer] told us at 11am, it was a scramble to record it, find a studio, dancers, a tux, an old-style Sixties bandstand with LGBT on it.

“I was very proud of it.”

However, James’s relationship with the LGBT+ community hasn’t always been an easy one.

Photography: Leigh Keily

In 2009 his BBC Three comedy series Horne and Corden was attacked by some gay journalists for a sketch that didn’t feature James but his comedy partner Mathew Horne as an extravagantly camp war correspondent reporting from the frontline.

“I can’t imagine we would do that sketch today,” James admits when asked how he feels about the piece now.

“I think you could keep the strand of the idea, which was, at that point on television there was Graham Norton, Dale Winton and Alan Carr, and the idea was, if there was a war correspondent who happened to be a flamboyantly gay man, what would happen?

“I don’t think we would do it now; we’d try to find a cleverer way of doing it.”

You can read James's full interview in Attitude's Style issue - out now. Buy in print, subscribe or download.