Hannah Waddingham The friends weren’t quite ready to celebrate Christmas when they received an invitation to a live taping of her holiday special last May at the London Coliseum.
“It was unusually sweaty in London,” Waddingham recalls, “and we were out there giving an invitation, saying, ‘Please, put on your Christmas clothes.’ A lot of my friends would call me, and they would say, ‘Dude, really?’” Waddingham recalls. “I thought to myself, ‘Yes, get out your Christmas sweater.’ If I’m going to sweat, so can you.'”
” Hannah Waddingham: Home for Christmas,” which debuted Wednesday (with an accompanying soundtrack), is a dream come true for the artist, an Emmy Award winner and three-time Olivier Award nominee. Her mother, Melody Kelly, was an opera singer and Waddingham says she spent her childhood at the Coliseum.
“I’ve been wandering those aisles since I was eight years old. The reason I’m who I am as an actor is because I’m sitting in that theater and watching the great opera singers of the time…and then, of course, you know, Mama, I didn’t mention that in the show special, but my mother suffers severely from Parkinson’s disease and is in a wheelchair. So the fact that she was able to be there, sitting next to her was my father, who had had five-fold heart surgery while I was filming “Ted Lasso”… and that I have my little daughter, who is a stranger to this universe. I was 8 years old when we shot the movie, and it’s unbelievable. Kismet.
Waddingham is joined by other special guests, including Leslie Odom Jr., Luke Evans (“We’ve known each other for 20 years through theater,” she said) and Sam Ryder. Some of her friends from “Ted Lasso” also appear.
“We gave them the blanket display, and said, ‘Hannah wants as many of you in there as possible.’ They were all clamoring to participate. And let me tell you, it’s a big, fat Christmas ham.”
Special hats off to an eventful year for Waddingham. In addition to screening “Ted Lasso” for its fourth season and recording “Home for Christmas,” she hosted the Olivier Awards, She also co-hosted the Eurovision Song Contest And Earthshot Award in Singapore Along with Prince William and actor Sterling K. Brown.
“2024 is going to have to take a while because 2023 has been crazy,” she said.