Hannah Waddingham gets the nation feeling festive in Christmas TV special
19th November 2023

The 49-year-old actor, who played Rebecca Welton in the comedy series Ted Lasso, will be joined on stage by Eurovision heartthrob Sam Ryder, Welsh star Luke Evans and American actor and singer Leslie Odom Jr.

An 18-piece band accompanies the stars as they belt out traditional festive hits.

Fans of Ted Lasso will be pleased to know Hannah Waddingham: Home for Christmas involves a reunion with her co-star Phil Dunster, who played Jamie Tartt in the drama about a struggling football club.

And the hour-long special, available on Apple+ from Wednesday, also features performances from the English National Opera, the London Gay Men’s Chorus and The Fabulous Lounge Swingers.

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Loved for her off-the-cuff remarks when co-hosting the Eurovision Song Contest in May, Hannah sings a charming duet of Winter Wonderland with her friend Luke, 44, an accomplished West End star.

Mother-of-one Hannah, who recently hosted Prince William’s Earthshot Prize ceremony for eco innovations in Singapore, and stars in the M&S Christmas advert, is the ideal presenter for the special.

She said: “I’m like a child at Christmas. I love it. I don’t like acknowledging the fact that I’m nearly 50. I like to pretend that I’m still a little girl because I just find this time of the year totally magical.”

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She added: “I wanted the special to be something for everyone. I wanted a little boy or a little girl to go look at the background and go, ‘wow.’

“I want people to sit in front of the TV and feel hugged and loved, and feel like they can smile and share something with a family, at any age, from four to 94.”

During the show, Hannah – who appeared in HBO’s fantasy epic Game of Thrones – shares anecdotes from her time in showbusiness, as well as memories about her experiences of Christmas.

The star-studded evening was recorded live in front of an audience at The Coliseum in London.

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