James Corden, host of US chat show "The Late Late Show", voice of "Peter Rabbit," and the portly Bustopher Jones in "Cats," returned to his home turf for the BBC's Christmas Special "Gavin & Stacey" epsiode, making for the UK's largest December 25 audience in over a decade.
Before "Peter Rabbit," "Trolls" and "Into the Woods," before "The Late Late Show with James Corden," the British actor-turned-chat show host found fame in his home country and overseas as co-star of hit BBC sitcom "Gavin & Stacey."
After nine years away, Corden reunited with the show's co-creator and on-screen co-star Ruth Jones, and fellow cast members Joanna Page (Stacey), Matthew Horne (Gavin), Alison Steadman, Rob Brydon, Melanie Walters and Larry Lamb for a 2019 special Christmas Day episode.
This time, the tables have turned: Gavin and Stacey have turned their long-distance relationship into stable domesticity, while Smithy (Corden) and Nessa (Jones) are making their cross-country parenting arrangement work. All this while the West and Shipman families gather in a cramped Welsh house for Christmas dinner.
The December 25 evening broadcast accrued 11.5 million viewers, according to audience figures released by Overnights TV, the biggest Christmas Day audience since animated adventure "Wallace & Gromit: A Matter of Load and Death" went out in 2008, also on BBC One, to some 14.5 million viewers.
As a result, the "Gavin & Stacey" Christmas special is expected to become the UK's most-watched show of 2019 after online viewership and video on demand replays are accounted for.
The episode ended on a cliffhanger, suggesting that a fourth season might be made, should the opportunity arise.
Until then, Corden has "Trolls World Tour," "Superintelligence," "Peter Rabbit 2" and "The Prom" lined up for 2020. He is also writing and producing a new musical version of "Cinderella" for 2021, starring pop star Camila Cabello, Pierce Brosnan (James Bond 1995-2002), Nicholas Galitzine (TV's "Chambers"), and Billy Porter ("American Horror Story" Season 8).
Joanna Page is set for May 2020 racing drama "Dream Horse," while Matthew Horne is helping take a TV comedy character to cinemas through Catherine Tate's "This Nan's Life" in June.