• Thursday, 13 June 2024
Hannah Waddingham: From Ted Lasso to a Eurovision Song Contest star

Hannah Waddingham: From Ted Lasso to a Eurovision Song Contest star

The standout stars of this year's Eurovision Song Contest do not just include the competitors - one of the hosts has become a fan favourite as well.

Hannah Waddingham has been a leading lady on stage for more than two decades and found wider fame thanks to TV shows Game of Thrones, Ted Lasso and Sex Education.

She can now add "Eurovision icon" to her CV.

Hosts (left to right) Alesha Dixon, Julia Sanina and Hannah Waddingham at the Eurovision semi-final at the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool. Picture date: Tuesday May 9, 2023.IMAGE SOURCE,PA MEDIA
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Hannah Waddingham (right) with fellow co-hosts Alesha Dixon and Julia Sanina

The English actress is co-hosting the contest's semi-finals with British presenter Alesha Dixon and Ukrainian singer Julia Sanina.

While they have all been excellent so far, Waddingham in particular has earned rave reviews, and her appearances have capped her elevation to A-list status.

Viewers have responded to her unbridled energy and overflowing sense of fun, plus the effortless composure and assured stage presence that come from years in the West End and on Broadway.

 

Her enthusiastic facial expressions, exuberant style, impromptu dance moves and language skills also have the crowd eating out of the palm of her hand.

King Charles III and the Queen Consort meets the presenters of this year's Eurovision Song Contest, Scott Mills, Hannah Waddingham, Julia Sanina and Rylan Clark, during a visit to the M and S Bank Arena, the host venue of this year's Eurovision Song Contest. Picture date: Wednesday April 26, 2023IMAGE SOURCE,PA MEDIA
Image caption,
King Charles met the hosts and commentators at the Eurovision arena last month

At a press conference on Friday, one reporter informed her she had been dubbed "mother" on social media. "Can I just ask if that's a good thing?" she responded.

It is - being a term particularly used in the gay community to refer to iconic women.

Waddingham only hosted her first awards ceremony last month - the Olivier Awards - when she was particularly praised for comforting an emotional winner.

"It was my first ever presenting gig, [with] this subtle little one being my second," she said.

"As with the Oliviers - the winners and the losers, everyone [at Eurovision] makes the effort of their lives. All of us, all of them on stage, everyone backstage, we're all just trying to put on a beautiful, massive, joyous show, and be unified by music.

 

"So it's very much our job to be there for the ups and the downs for the winners and the losers, and that's why I wanted to get involved."

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