Former Hollyoaks actor James Corden has criticised the arrogance of the Channel 4 soap's cast.

Before becoming a BAFTA and British Comedy award winner for Gavin and Stacey, Corden had a small part in the Chester-set serial some eight years ago as a school caretaker.

But speaking to Esquire magazine, the 29-year-old said he would "rather die" than return to the Hollyoaks cast.

"It's f***ing awful," he explained. "I can't tell you the sheer disdain I have for the place and people.

"I met a couple of really good friends there, but it's [only] 20 per cent nice people."

He added: "It just breeds p**cks - all these people walking around with this chicken-in-a-basket fame, talking about going to LA."

Having co-written and starred in BBC3 hit Gavin and Stacey, Corden is now executive producing a pilot of the show in the US as well as working on a new sketch show with co-star Matthew Horne.

And he revealed that the surprising success of Gavin and Stacey - the story of a romance between an Essex boy and Welsh girl - had changed his life immeasurably.

"Every aspect of my life, personally and professionally, feels so different," he told Esquire.

"The stakes feel so much higher than they were. It's inconceivable to me that I could be on the cover of a magazine, because people on a magazine don't look like me."

The actor, who has been romantically linked with Lily Allen, joked: "I must be the biggest fella you've put on the cover of Esquire, mustn't I?"

07/08/2008 14:10:55