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Christmas TV Special – Hannah Waddingham: Home For Christmas

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Oh dear…I suppose when you have a TV series that does as well as Ted Lasso did then you are bound to want to try and spread it a bit further while you can. I’m not a football fan but I quite enjoyed the goings on at AFC Richmond…well, the first couple of seasons, anyway. I think they may have already tried to spread that particular portion of butter a wee bit too far already. But I can imagine them sitting in a conference room somewhere and desperately bouncing ideas around to try and squeeze the last few drops out of the Lasso Lemon. I can see them there, looking through the cast list and saying things like “Sudeikis won’t want to do anything like this”, “hmmm…they will but who would want to watch it?”, and suchlike. 

But then they were thrown a lifeline from a most unexpected source; the fallout from the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Whether the Ukrainian entry in the 2022 was a particularly good song (I can’t remember) or there was a massive, Europe wide sympathy vote but Ukraine won. Now, what usually happens is the winner of one year hosts the competition the following year. Obviously, when you are currently in a conflict situation and there’s no way of knowing how long it will last, you can’t be expected to plan, prepare, produce, and put on a £25 million pound musical extravaganza. The obvious way around this is to ask whoever came second to host on the winner’s behalf. 

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All I Want For Christmas

This is where another big surprise landed…the UK had come second! Why was this a surprise? Because, this century, the UK had come last five times and had received the dreaded “nul points”. So, thanks to a very personable and talented young man named Sam Ryder, the Eurovision Song Contest final 2023 came to my neighbouring city, Liverpool; you could walk down to the Mersey and see all the lights and hear some of the sound from the stadium. And this is what must have made those chaps in the conference room start dancing jigs of joy. One of the hosts for the final was none other than Hannah Waddingham. Throughout her stay on Ted Lasso, Hannah was hardly dowdy. 

She played the part of Rebecca Welton, the owner of AFC Richmond, and football club owners aren’t usually down and outs! So it wasn’t so much the posh frocks that caught their attention but the sparkling personality and sense of fun that she displayed. And then there was the cherry on the top…her voice. Damn! That girl can sing! She has an awesome set of pipes on her. The Guardian dubbed her an “overnight national treasure”. I can imagine them all looking at each other and, simultaneously, saying “A Hannah Waddingham Christmas show!” And that, probably, is how it all came together. Well…the RunPee lawyers are running around saying that that is just the rambling of an addled, alcohol soaked, old age pensioner and are intended to be humorous rather than accurate. 

‘Twas The Night Before Christmas

So, what do we get with Hannah Waddingham: Home For Christmas? First off, you have to remember that it is an Apple production and, being the producers of Ted Lasso, that means that you can forget about Hannah’s stage work, appearances in Game Of Thrones, and loads more. What you get is an appearance at the the Coliseum in St Martin’s Lane, Westminster, London. Why is it called Hannah Waddingham: Home For Christmas? Because Hannah’s mother was a singer with the English National Opera company and they performed regularly at the Coliseum. As a result, young Hannah had a regular seat in one of the boxes from the age of eight. That should have been enough of an excuse to have Hannah on stage singing and dancing. And, frankly that would have been enough for me. 

Unfortunately though, there was a strange desire to try and capitalise on the last remnants of the Ted Lasso hype. As a result we end up with Hannah doing the usual thing of singing, dancing, and duetting with various guests but then we also get the majority of the Ted Lasso cast wandering on stage, gurning, and wandering off again. Most of them are quite cringe worthy and could have been easily missed out. The only one that was quite nicely done was when Jason Sudeikis popped up for his cameo. So, in short, Hannah Waddingham: Home For Christmas was a bit like when your kids put on a show; parts are wonderful, parts are a bit cringe, and parts have been put in just so the awkward cousin could have something to do. As far as I’m concerned, I’d be happy to see Hannah Waddingham given the opportunity to get up on stage without the remnants of the Ted Lasso roadshow.

Grade: C

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Comments

2 responses to “Christmas TV Special – Hannah Waddingham: Home For Christmas”

  1.  Avatar

    Well, I adored all of Ted Lasso, but I’m American and maybe have differing sensibilities. I mean, the whole Amsterdam arc, Roy and Jamie teaming up, the team needing Ted himself less and less as they were doing the Lasso Way on their own. I skip the Jack and Shandy storylines on my rewatches and I understand why they had to do those plots from a behind the scene situation with Juno Temple not being available to be with the cast.

    But to the Xmas Special: I tried to watch it, but I cordially dislike singing and dancing shows. Hannah is a goddess, however! As Keeley told Rebecca: You’re amazing! Let’s invade France!

  2. The comment above is me. For some reason I was logged out!

    I might try the Hannah special next holiday season. Do all the boyos show up? Are there any skits? I just don’t want to watch a lot of Christmas songs because I am a Grinch.

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