Eurovision host Hannah Waddingham christened ‘mother’ – and her reaction is priceless

Hannah Waddingham Eurovision

Eurovision 2023 host and Ted Lasso star Hannah Waddingham had the sweetest and most confused response to being dubbed the internet’s ‘mother’ in a press conference.

Waddingham has been a staple of West End and Broadway shows for more than two decades, but her role as a host for this year’s Eurovision has seen her captivate the internet with her warmth and humour. 

The British actor co-hosted the song contest’s semi-finals alongside British presenter and singer Alesha Dixon and Ukrainian singer Julia Sanina.

At the first semi-final on Tuesday (9 May), Waddingham had the crowd in Liverpool Arena chanting her name, after she recited the Eurovision rules in perfect French and added: “You see, Europe, some of us Brits do bother to learn another language.”

Her impromptu dance moves, enthusiastic facial expressions and seemingly genuine delight at being part of the beloved event has catapulted Waddingham into the status of British national treasure. 

Waddingham has previously appeared as Septa Unella on HBO’s Game of Thrones and as one of Jackson Marchetti’s (Kedar Williams-Stirling) mums, Sofia, in Netflix’s acclaimed – and wonderfully queer – Sex Education.

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She is currently starring as Rebecca Welton in the third season of heartwarming Apple TV football comedy-drama Ted Lasso.

And now, she can add ‘mother’ to her list of accomplishments. 

On Friday (12 May), Dutch podcaster and OUTtv host GJ Kooijman let the actor know that she’s the internet’s newest mother.

At a Eurovision press conference, Kooijman said: “My question is for Hannah who I think the internet has now legitimately called ‘mother’ – and I think we all agree.”

Waddingham appeared confused, saying: “Can I just ask if that’s a good thing?”

After Kooijman reassured her that it’s a “really good thing”, Eurovision co-presenter and Drag Race UK judge Graham Norton also jumped in, telling her to “go with it”.

Waddingham was swift to embrace her new title, flashing a beaming smile and saying: “OK, just checking” and “Oh good, excellent, thank you!” 

Kooijman then asked what Waddingham was able to take from her first hosting gig, only a month earlier at the 2023 Olivier Awards, that she could apply to Eurovision.

The actor replied: “That’s a brilliant question because as you say, it was my first ever presenting gig and this subtle little one just being my second.

“I would say that the same with the Oliviers, the winners and the losers, everyone makes the effort of their lives, so all of us here, everyone onstage and backstage, we’re all just people trying to put on a beautiful, massive, joyous show, unified by music.

“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.”

Can we just take a moment to appreciate the iconic reference to Eurovision as a “subtle little one”, please?

The Eurovision Song Contest grand final takes place on Saturday (13 May) and airs on BBC1 from 8pm.

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