James Corden's biggest controversies: From Patrick Stewart to Egg-gate

The TV star has had success on both sides of the Atlantic, but has found himself at the centre of some high-profile rows.

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 03: James Corden attends the Netflix 'Beckham' UK Premiere at The Curzon Mayfair on October 03, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Lia Toby/Getty Images)
James Corden is heading for SiriusXM. (Getty Images) (Lia Toby via Getty Images)

James Corden is set for his next big role after quitting The Late Late Show - a new Desert Island Discs-style radio show for SiriusXM called This Life of Mine.

The Carpool Karaoke star has found fame in both the UK and US with hugely popular TV and film appearances, but while controversy has been rarer for him than some other stars, it has been memorable.

We look back over some of the biggest rows Corden has been involved in - including that Egg-gate moment.

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Patrick Stewart awards drama

Back in 2010, Corden became embroiled in some celebrity sniping at the Glamour Awards with Patrick Stewart, who berated the Gavin & Stacey star for having his hands in his pockets on stage.

Stewart accused him of looking like he wanted to be "anywhere in the world but here" and Corden shot back: "Oh! You couldn’t be more wrong, sir. You couldn’t be more wrong. Genuinely. And if it looked like that, I’m so sorry. But when you come up and present an award, just f***ing get on with it."

LOS ANGELES - MARCH 2: The Late Late Show with James Corden airing Wednesday, March 2, 2022, with guests Patrick Stewart and Colin Farrell. (Photo by Terence Patrick/CBS via Getty Images)
James Corden ahnd Patrick Stewart have since made up. (CBS via Getty Images) (CBS Photo Archive via Getty Images)

But Stewart took the argument to a new low by making fun of Corden's weight as he said: "From where I was, I could see your belly and that was from right at the back of the room."

Corden told him: "I’m waiting for the punchline. Go on. No, seriously, go on. No, go on! You could see my belly, and we can all see you dying right now.

"OK, can we get a taxi really quickly please. There’s an old man going home."

Harvey Weinstein jokes

Corden didn't hit any more major controversy hurdles until 2017, when he tried to make fun of disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein - but ended up offending some of his accusers instead.

The star was speaking at the AmfAR charity gala as a host, where he joked: "This is a beautiful room. It’s a beautiful night here in LA. So beautiful, Harvey Weinstein has already asked tonight up to his hotel to give him a massage."

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 15: James Corden attends the Ninth Breakthrough Prize Ceremony at Academy Museum of Motion Pictures on April 15, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images for Breakthrough Prize)
The comedian's Weinstein jokes fell flat. (Getty Images for Breakthrough Prize) (Tommaso Boddi via Getty Images)

He added: "It has been weird this week though, watching Harvey Weinstein in hot water. Ask any of the women who watched him take a bath."

But Corden's jokes fell flat with some, including Rose McGowan who has alleged that Weinstein raped her.

Corden later apologised on social media, explaining: "To be clear, sexual assault is no laughing matter. I was not trying to make light of Harvey’s inexcusable behaviour, but to shame him, the abuser, not his victims. I am truly sorry for anyone offended, that was never my intention."

The Prom

Meryl Streep and James Corden in The Prom (Netflix)
Meryl Streep and James Corden in The Prom. (Netflix)

Not every project that the former Late Late Show host has been involved in has been a resounding success - Cats was panned by critics, and another of his musical endeavours also raised some eyebrows.

In 2020, he starred in Ryan Murphy's Netflix musical The Prom but was heavily criticised for being a straight actor playing a gay character, Barry Glickman.

Corden faced a huge backlash from viewers and critics for his portrayal, where they claimed he relied heavily on gay stereotypes and labelled it offensive.

Balthazar row

By far Corden's most famous controversy was over his treatment of staff at New York restaurant Balthazar.

The row, dubbed "Egg-gate", was over a wrong omelette order and restaurant owner Keith McNally made things public by announcing that Corden was banned from Balthazar because he felt the star had been so rude to his waiters.

British actor and TV host James Corden and his wife Julia Carey arrive for the 2023 Met Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 1, 2023, in New York. - The Gala raises money for the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute. The Gala's 2023 theme is
James Corden complained about his wife Julia Carey's omelette. (AFP via Getty Images) (ANGELA WEISS via Getty Images)

Corden addressed what had happened on The Late Late Show, saying: "It is a comment I deeply regret. I understand the difficulties of being a server, I’ve worked shifts at restaurants for years, I have such respect for anyone who does that job.

"I didn’t shout or scream. I didn’t get up out of my seat. I didn’t call anyone names or use derogatory language. I have been walking around thinking that I hadn’t done anything wrong, right? But the truth is I have. I made a rude comment, and it was wrong. It was an unnecessary comment. It was ungracious to the server."

He later explained that the problem had been with an egg yolk omelette his wife Julia Carey had ordered and said he had taken it so seriously because she is allergic to egg whites.

McNally later unbanned Corden from Balthazar.

'Stealing' jokes

Hot on the heels of the Balthazar row, Corden came under fire for an unfortunate Late Late Show monologue believed to have been written for him by the show's team.

Corden told a joke about Elon Musk and his ownership of Twitter, now renamed X, which was almost identical to a stand-up special from Ricky Gervais.

Ricky Gervais spotted James Corden using one of his jokes. (CBS/Getty)
Ricky Gervais spotted James Corden using one of his jokes. (CBS/Getty)

Many of Gervais' fans recognised the material and flagged it up to him, with The Office star poking fun at recognising his joke by posting a clip of Corden and writing: "The bit about the town square advert for guitar lessons is brilliant."

Corden apologised - aptly, on Twitter - for the incident.

He wrote: "Inadvertently told a brilliant Ricky Gervais joke on the show last night, obviously not knowing it came from him.

"It’s brilliant, because it’s a Ricky Gervais joke. You can watch all Ricky’s excellent specials on Netflix. J x."