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When you’re the presenter of a TV chat show, calling in to say you’re not going to make it into work that day is, well, problematic…

So when James Corden‘s wife gave birth to the couple’s third child — a baby girl — shortly before The Late Late Show was due to kick off last night (December 12), he quickly came up with a plan.

James asked his pal and Carpool Karaoke colleague, Harry Styles to stand in for him. It must have come as a shock to the audience, who were no doubt expecting to be greeted by the show’s delightfully gregarious regular host. But, they didn’t seem to be disappointed when the singer-actor, formerly of One Direction and just seen in Dunkirk, stepped out from behind the purple curtain.

He may have been more surprised than the crowd, having had no time to prepare and reading cue cards with talking points, like, “If you’re anything like me, the only thing that you and your friends are talking about at the moment is the Alabama senate race.” He could barely get to the end of the line before breaking into giggles.

It’s actually kind of cute and endearing.

Styles made it clear that this was a “one time thing,” and though he was happy to step in, he’d never dream of stepping on anyone’s toes. However, the seasoned entertainer then turned to the camera to address the network’s big wigs: “Unless CBS likes what they see.” Naturally, he followed this up with a cheeky wink and “gotcha” finger point.

It was really wonderful to see Styles support his friend at short notice. And, it was clear Corden appreciated him being there.

He took to Twitter to announce his baby news, and in the same tweet, thanked his friend:

The Cordens are now a gang of five, with their newborn baby joining big brother Max, 6, and sister, Carey, 3.

We’re very happy for the growing family — congratulations James, to you and yours!

So, who can we look forward to hosting tonight? 

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By Brigid Brown