After Stephen Colbert Jokes About James Corden Returning To Doctor Who, Fans Are Pondering The Idea

James Corden in Doctor Who
(Image credit: BBC America)

James Corden is officially stepping down as host of The Late Late Show in 2023 and will return to the UK after years of entertaining fans by singing with celebrities in cars (but not driving) and making the occasional film appearance. Though his time on late-night network television is over, it’s fair to say that his career will continue in some way. Stephen Colbert recently joked that he’ll head back to Doctor Who and, now, fans are pondering the idea.

For those who don’t know or even forgot about the Who connection, James Corden briefly served as a quasi-companion on Doctor Who alongside Matt Smith’s Doctor for two episodes. Perhaps in a nod to those installments (now available with an HBO Max subscription), Stephen Colbert got the rumor mill going on Twitter with his witty post:

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Stephen Colbert’s comment is likely meant in jest, but one has to wonder if the TV personality would return to Doctor Who in some way. The 60th anniversary is right around the corner and, with the star now being a much bigger household name worldwide than he was when he first appeared on the series in 2010, there's always a chance he could make a cameo, something one fan speculated about:

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Of course, there’s another crowd that's more suspicious of his exit from late night TV and his return to the UK in mid-2023. Some Who fans are wondering if returning showrunner Russell T. Davies might call on James Corden for something bigger. Some are even wondering if Corden will be the franchise’s 14th Doctor, and not everyone is happy about that:

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The idea might sound wild considering he already played a character within the franchise but, as Peter Capaldi, Karen Gillan, and others proved, that’s not a disqualifier for the gig. It’s entirely possible that the Cinderella alum could become the 14th Doctor and, believe it or not, there are people who'd love to see it:

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It certainly wouldn't be impossible for James Corden to be the next Doctor, but we should put all of this into perspective. At present, here are a lot of rumors circulating about who might play the role and, surprisingly, Corden isn’t the wildest actor suggested. David Tennant recently commented on reports of his return to reprise his role, and even Hugh Grant is alleged to be in the running at this stage. Suffice to say, there’s a lot of talk going around so, while Corden could indeed be a candiate, nothing is set in stone at this time, as far as we know. 

Doctor Who will drop Jodie Whittaker’s final episode later this year, and fans might get a sneak peek at the next Doctor in the process. Such a tease could calm the wild speculation surrounding the role but, if not, speculation regarding James Corden and other potential stars will only continue to run rampant.. 

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.