Hannah Waddingham felt it was important to say "thank you" to Jason Sudeikis in her Christmas special.

Hannah Waddingham has a new festive special

Hannah Waddingham has a new festive special

The 49-year-old actress' 'Ted Lasso' co-star made a surprise appearance at the end of her 'Home for Christmas' Apple TV+ festive special and she explained she was keen to pay tribute to her friend after he drew her attention to her singing talents on a festive episode of the sporting comedy series.

She told 'Entertainment Tonight': "I went to Jason and said, 'Is there a world in which we can do a thing where you are doffing your cap at the end and I can say thank you to you for affording me this glorious platform?'

"[The fans] were lovely and so was Jason in the first place to get me singing on the show. I was the one at the time that was like, 'Why is a football club owner singing?' And Jason was like, 'You're singing.'

"To arrive into 'Ted Lasso' and to meet people like Jason Sudeikis, Brendan Hunt, Brett Goldstein - people that love musical theatre - to then be ask to bring out that part of me for 'Ted Lasso' was insane."

The success of the episode led to Hannah and her manager pitching the idea of the Christmas special and she admitted it was a "no brainer" to involve other 'Ted Lasso' stars, including Phil Dunster, Juno Temple, Brett Goldstein and Brendan Hunt.

She said: "It was a no brainer then to go to Apple and say, 'Look, let's do this and let's have as many of the AFC Richmond Greyhounds with us as possible.'

"They had to be there, really... because they are so much a part of what I've become. They know that I would be there with them in a heartbeat, without doubt."

And it was important to the former 'Game of Thrones' actress to film at the London Coliseum, where her mother frequently performed as an opera singer.

She said: "I used to sit there listening to all the opera singers, watching my mum... that moved me without doubt and without question into musical theater."

Ultimately, Hannah hopes she has made "something timeless and beautiful that everyone can sit down and watch."

She added: "I think in a sea of discourse and unhappiness if people get 45 minutes of making them smile, making them cry, making them think of a lost loved one, that's what I want to do."

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