Eurovision co-host Hannah Waddingham said she was thrilled to be part of a “beautiful, massive and joyful spectacle” and needed time to digest all the applause.
Waddingham, the star ofAnd was hailed as an “overnight national treasure” for her enthusiastic and sometimes eccentric co-hosting of this week’s Eurovision finals.
The London-born actress, better known in the US than the UK, has become an internet sensation thanks to her impromptu dance moves, exuberant facial expressions and language skills.
At a press conference ahead of the grand final in Liverpool on Saturday, which she will co-host, Waddingham said she was “shocked” by the reaction.
Asked by a reporter about her “next plan for world domination” having conquered the stage, the screen and now the presentation, the 48-year-old replied, “Oh my God! Can I just digest this for a moment please? »
Waddingham went on to say that she was filming a “female Christmas special” at the London Coliseum in a few weeks, before adding, “I’m a little shocked by your question, frankly!”
She was a leading woman in the West End and on Broadway for over 20 years, but had mostly played small on-screen roles – as Tonya Dyke inand a BBC adult film star .
She found wider fame a decade ago inwhich she joined in season five, and more recently in And but remains even less well known in the UK.
Waddingham will host the grand final alongside Graham Norton, theAlesha Dixon and Ukrainian singer-songwriter Julia Sanina.
Appearing alongside his co-hosts after a four-and-a-half-hour dress rehearsal on Friday, Waddingham said it was only his second pitch gig – following the Olivier Awards last month.
“Everyone is doing their life’s work,” she said. “All of us here, everyone on stage, everyone backstage – we’re all people trying to put on a beautiful, massive, joyful show and be unified through music.
“It’s really our job to be there for winners and losers and that’s why I wanted to get involved.”
She had her name chanted by the Liverpool Arena crowd after reciting the Eurovision rules in perfect French before adding: “You see, Europe, some of us Brits take the trouble to ‘learn another language.
Waddingham explained that she learned French at school and was “conversative, rather than fluent”, but wanted to inject it into her presentation to “show hands through water”.
She added: “I just think it’s that fine line of wanting to be respectful of a language and including it but not spoiling it, so hopefully I’m fine there.”
Waddingham said it had been “really nice” working with Dixon and Sanina as they are “two girls that I have such respect for”, adding: “I love being able to watch them from behind the scenes and think that I manages to stand side by side with them.
“I’m so grateful that these two women in particular stood by my side because it’s not an easy gig – it’s pretty complete – so yeah: I love you to pieces, you’re beautiful.”
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