Hannah Waddingham is here to sleigh.
The Emmy winner’s first holiday special, Hannah Waddingham: Home for Christmas, is now streaming on Apple TV+, and it’s a throwback to variety specials of a bygone era.
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“I wanted it to be timeless, but with a big nod to the old specials,” the Ted Lasso star tells TVLine in the spoiler-filled Q&A above. “I wanted it to be Dean Martin meets Carol Burnett meets Mary Tyler Moore — a blend of onstage and offstage skits and totally live vocals.”
She also wanted it to be filmed at the London Coliseum, which holds a special place in her heart. Midway through the show, Waddingham dedicates a song to her ailing mother and reveals that she was 8 years old when she first saw Mom perform at the esteemed, West End theater. We then cut to a shot of Waddingham’s daughter, now 8, watching her own mother lend her classically trained voice to the sacred Christmas song “O Holy Night,” whilst accompanied by the English National Opera Chorus.
“She’s sitting in exactly the same box that I sat in from the age of 8,” Waddingham points out. “I mean, you can’t make that up.”
Home for Christmas also features appearances by nearly all of Waddingham’s Ted Lasso teammates. The guest list includes Juno Temple, Phil Dunster, Nick Mohammed, Kola Bokinni, Billy Harris, James Lance and Brendan Hunt, as well as Brett Goldstein and the man himself, Jason Sudeikis, who (surprise!) arrives just in the nick of time to escort his leading lady home.
“They had to be there because we all miss [Ted Lasso] terribly,” Waddingham says of her co-stars. “If the general public misses Ted Lasso, trust me, us Greyhounds miss it more.” Speaking specifically to Sudeikis’ surprise appearance, she adds: “It had to be him [there] at the end because he’s the reason why these two worlds of mine” — stage and screen — “have converged and exploded so much. He trusted in me.”
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In our video interview, Waddingham also tells us about the moment she was first elevated onto the stage, the song that absolutely had to be on the setlist, and whether she’d like to make Home for Christmas an annual event. Watch the Q&A, then grade the special via the following poll.
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