Watch: Hannah Waddingham reflects on her incredible year
Hannah Waddingham is having a great year thanks to the success of Ted Lasso, hosting Eurovision, not one but TWO Christmas adverts on telly, and a new Apple TV+ Christmas special seeing her dominate the pop culture sphere, but she tells Yahoo UK that it all feels like it came together by chance.
“It’s kind of been accidental, I was asked to host the Oliviers and was so blown over to be asked, then I was asked to do Eurovision [and] I genuinely thought somebody had dropped out,’ she says.
“So when I heard they hadn't I just thought, ‘Oh my God’.
"I don't know how this has come about, but I'm so grateful that it did. And I would happily present [Eurovision] every year if I could, and be the new Katie Boyle or Terry Wogan.”Hannah Waddingham
Her newest project is Hannah Waddingham: Home for Christmas, a festive special filmed at the London Coliseum that sees her and an array of guests sing classic Christmas songs in time for the holidays.
The actor jokes that she was "sorry" for being everywhere, adding: “I think we had already spoken to Apple and started developing this all last year, but my schedule was very heavy, so it's kind of happened as an accident that things have stacked up as much as they have.
“But I tell you what, 24's gonna have to go [big] to be better than ‘23, that's for sure.”
Carrying on a family legacy
The actor’s Christmas special is important for Waddingham not just because it is a career highlight but because she could share the moment with her daughter, just like she had done at the same age when her mother Melodie Kelly performed with the English National Opera at the Coliseum.
“This is where everything came from for me, and the absolute total luck that my daughter was eight, exactly the same age when I first started sitting in that box,” she says.
“To have my daughter sitting in the very same spot… when I was pitching it to Apple I said I would love to have my daughter there, there’s this little booth that's uncommonly small that can only have two seats in it.
“That was my very, very beautiful pen when I was little, so to have her in there, and for her to see what I saw, is just full circle.”Hannah Waddingham
Waddingham jokes that her daughter is “as used to [showbiz] now” as she was with her mother’s career as an opera singer.
“I would go every single holiday, sometimes at the weekend, occasionally in the evenings, and I would just sit there or in the stalls, right down stage left, and I would just take in all the magnificent voices,” she reflects.
“I would sit there for rehearsals and just watch how they did everything, and how the opera singers would mark their voices.
“She's seeing all the mechanics as well, and all the interaction, and how no one person is any more important than another, whether they're on the stage or off.
“And to have her seeing all of that, I just feel like a bit of a free gift to her like I had.”
A Ted Lasso reunion
The Christmas special will also be one to remember for fans for a different reason, because it sees Waddingham reunite with her Ted Lasso co-stars like Phil Dunster.
"I was slightly nervous about asking, I didn't want anyone to feel obliged, and they all were just emphatic in their response.”Hannah Waddingham
“And it got to the point where I was thinking, ‘how are we going to accommodate all of them?’ But we did, and I'm so glad we did," she adds.
While the show has ended with its third season, Waddingham is quick to say she “can’t possibly speak to” the future of the show and if the special is the last time we’ll see the cast together.
She adds: “It would be lovely and I know that we would be in it, probably all of us would want to come back.”
Hannah Waddingham: Home for Christmas premieres on Apple TV+ on Wednesday, 22 November.
Watch the trailer for Hannah Waddingham: Home for Christmas