Hannah Waddingham’s forgotten soap stints as she takes on Eurovision role

Hollywood icon Hannah Waddingham is hosting the Eurovision Song Contest this month – but she actually came from humble beginnings on Brookside.

The Ted Lasso icon began her acting career onstage in 2000, appearing in productions such as Space Family Robinson and Spamalot.

However it was not long before she landed her first TV roles, including playing Georgina Savage during an episode of Channel 4 soap Brookside in 2002.

READ MORE: Eurovision 'first' set to come to UK as festival to mark celebrations confirmed

That's not Hannah's only soap stint though, as three years later in 2005 she also made an appearance in Hollyoaks: Let Loose as Mrs Robertson.

She was just a number of stars to appear in the spin-off, which saw Ben Davies and Lisa Hunter depart the village in search for a new life away from Hollyoaks.

From there it has been onwards and upwards for Hannah, with the actress landing leading roles in a whole host of iconic TV series including Tonya Dyke in ITV comedy Benidorm, Septa Unella in hit fantasy programme Game of Thrones and playing Sofia Marchetti in Netflix's Sex Education.

Along with playing Rebecca Welton in Apple series Ted Lasso from 2020 and The Witch Mother in Hocus Pocus 2, Hannah has certainly come a long way from her soap days.

However, she is set to return to Liverpool – the home of both Brookside and Hollyoaks – as Hannah takes on one of the biggest hosting duties in the world.

She will co-host the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 Semi and Grand Finals alongside Alesha Dixon, Graham Norton and Ukranian singer-songwriter Julia Sanina.

Speaking to the BBC about helping to host the competition, Hannah said: "It's one of the world's greatest music festivals.

"But this year, perhaps more than ever, it is such a great honour to be standing shoulder to shoulder with Ukraine, a country which has carried itself with such strength and unity."

The Eurovision Song Contest 2023 will be broadcast live from Liverpool on BBC One and BBC iPlayer, BBC Radio 2 and BBC Sounds. Semi-Final 1 is broadcast Tuesday 9 May at 8pm, Semi-Final 2 is broadcast Thursday 11 May at 8pm, and the Grand Final is broadcast on Saturday 13 May at 8pm.


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