How old was James Corden in Fat Friends and where is the Netflix show set?

One of James Corden's earliest TV series, Fat Friends, is now streaming on Netflix

TODAY -- Pictured: James Corden on Monday, January 29, 2024 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC via Getty Images)
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Netflix has a great way of reviving old British classics, when they arrive on the platform and find a whole new audience, such as the 2000s drama Fat Friends

In the early 2000s, ITV launched a new drama called Fat Friends that starred James Corden, Ruth Jones, Gaynor Faye, Lynda Baron and Allison Steadman. Created by Kay Mellor, the four-season show followed the lives of a local slimming group, as they each battled with their own struggles around their weight.

Originally, the series ran from 2000 to 2005, releasing 25 episodes across four seasons, but has recently found a new home on Netflix. Each episode focuses in on one particular character and how their weight has impacted their life, as well as several storylines running throughout the entire series. 

How old was James Corden in Fat Friends?

After some early small-screen roles in Hollyoaks and Teachers, Fat Friends was James's first lead role in a TV show as Jamie Rymer. For his performance, he was also nominated for the Royal Television Society’s Award for Network Newcomer on-screen. When the series was released in 2000, the James was only 22-years-old.

Prior to this, James had made guest appearances in in comedies like Little Britain, he had also worked as a TV reporter on BBC’S Good Morning with Anne and Nick, an early sign of his potential as a presenter long before he ever performed a Carpool karaoke with Adele

It was on the set of this series that James struck up a friendship with his co-star Ruth Jones, who he later co-wrote the hit BBC series, Gavin and Stacey, with. James and Ruth appeared alongside their future Gavin and Stacey co-stars in Fat Friends, Allison Steadman and Sheridan Smith, who played Pam and Ruth (or Smithy) respectively in the Barry Island-based show. 

While he was on Fat Friends, James also made his London West End debut in the original production of Alan Bennett’s play, The History Boys, as Timms, before he went onto performed the role in the Broadway, Sydney, Wellington and Hong Kong version too. 

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 21: James Corden and Ruth Jones attend the press night after party for "Sister Act: The Musical" at 100 Wardour St on March 21, 2024 in London, England. (Photo by Alan Chapman/Dave Benett/Getty Images)

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Where is Netflix’s Fat Friends set?

Fat Friends is based in the North of England in Leeds, championing regional actors and voices within the cast too. The characters are all brought together as they attend the same slimming club in Headingley together, which is run by Carol (Janet Dibley) who is on a mission to get them all to follow the ‘Super Slimmers’ diet - without much success. 

All episodes of Fat Friends are available to stream on Netflix now. 

Jess Bacon

Jess Bacon is a freelance journalist, blogger and former editor with over six years of writing experience. As a screenwriter and journalist, Jess is keen to tell her own and other people’s stories through words, photos and film. She’s passionate about discussing young people's mental health, grief and feminism in life and how it's portrayed in the media, film and literature. Alongside her by-lines at renowned publications, Jess regularly speaks at charity events and festival panels about loss, mental health and Marvel. Along with her love of writing, Jess is an avid reader, spin enthusiast and dog-lover.