Hannah Waddingham: Who is the Eurovision 2023 presenter?

The actor and singer has charmed fans of the song contest

Hannah Waddingham is one of the Eurovision presenters. (BBC)
Hannah Waddingham is one of the Eurovision presenters. (BBC)

Eurovision is under way and fans are gripped by all the glitz and whether Mae Muller is going to serve up a win for the UK.

But there have been other aspects of the song contest getting people talking too – including presenter Hannah Waddingham and her impressive mastery of the French language as she hosted the semi-final.

Waddingham is new to the Eurovision team, joining the likes of Graham Norton and Rylan.

Read more: Who is Mae Muller? Meet the UK's Eurovision 2023 entry

So who is she and where do we know her from?

Award-winning actor

London-born Waddingham is an actor and singer who comes from a line of opera singers and was raised around the theatre.

Eurovision Song Contest - Semi Final 1,09-05-2023,Alesha Dixon; Julia Sanina; Hannah Waddingham,BBC,Guy Levy
Hannah Waddingham on stage at Eurovision. (BBC)

While she seems to be taking us all by storm right now, she certainly isn't new to the scene and has been quietly putting in the work for decades.

She's had stage roles both in the UK and across the pond on Broadway, starring in productions including Into The Woods, The Wizard Of Oz and Kiss Me, Kate.

The 48-year-old has had a fair bit of recognition for treading the boards, with a slew of Laurence Olivier and WhatsOnStage awards nominations to her name.

Game Of Thrones role

Waddingham has been popping up on the small screen for around 20 years with parts in shows like Brookside, Marple and My Family.

Septa Unella and Cersei Lannister in 'Game Of Thrones'. (HBO)
Septa Unella and Cersei Lannister in Game Of Thrones. (HBO)

Game Of Thrones fans will know her as Septa Unella, a member of the Most Devout who was in the fantasy drama from 2015 to 2016.

Fans will recall that she accompanied Cersei as she walked naked from the Great Sept of Baelor to the Red Keep, crying out "Shame!"

Ted Lasso fame

While her turn in Westeros certainly got Waddingham noticed, it was sports comedy drama Ted Lasso that really put her on the map.

She was cast as Rebecca Welton, the owner of AFC Richmond, in 2020 and has become a big favourite with viewers.

Waddingham has also won several accolades for her performance, including an Emmy.

Brett Goldstein, from left, Toheeb Jimoh, Hannah Waddingham, Jason Sudeikis and Brendan Hunt, members of the cast of
Hannah Waddingham has won awards for Ted Lasso. (Invision/AP)

Thanking creator and co-star Jason Sudeikis after she picked up the gong in 2021, she said she felt “privileged” to be working with him on the show.

“Jason, you've changed my life with this and more importantly my baby girl's,” she said.

Love life and motherhood

Waddingham doesn’t say too much about her love life but it has been reported that she was in a long relationship with hotel manager Gianluca Cugnetto.

The star welcomed her daughter Kitty in 2016.

Kitty has Henoch-Schönlein purpura, a disorder that the NHS says "affects the blood vessels and causes a spotty rash".

Earlier this year, Waddingham told People that Kitty fell ill when she was three and that it took her a while to be able to discuss her daughter’s condition.

"I can talk about it now,” she said.

“But I couldn't for a very long time. She was in the hospital for a while with them not knowing what it was."


Waddingham's rise evidently caught the eye of TV bosses and earlier this year it was announced that she had joined the Eurovision team.

Eurovision Song Contest - Semi Final 1,09-05-2023,Alesha Dixon; Julia Sanina; Hannah Waddingham,BBC,Guy Levy
Hannah Waddingham is a big fan of Eurovision. (BBC)

She said she loved the annual contest and that it was a “great privilege” to be a part of it.

“There’s something really special about Eurovision which is why I’ve been an avid fan for years - from the camaraderie of all the acts backstage, to the epic scale of the show,” said the actor.

Read more: Ted Lasso: Will there be a season 4?

“It’s one of the world’s greatest music festivals, but this year, perhaps more than ever, it is such a great honour to be standing shoulder to shoulder with Ukraine, a country which has carried itself with such strength and unity.”

Watch: Eurovision investment ‘really well spent’, minister says