Ted Lasso's Hannah Waddingham was 'accidentally' told she wouldn't be likely to conceive

·5 min read
Cast member Hannah Waddingham attends the premiere for season two of the television series
Hannah Waddingham at the premiere for season two of Ted Lasso. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

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Ted Lasso and Game of Thrones actor Hannah Waddingham has spoken about finding out 'accidentally' that she may have difficulty conceiving after a medical test for the show Benidorm.

Waddingham has been nominated for an Emmy for her role in Apple TV's Ted Lasso which has been nominated 20 times: the most ever for a comedy show after its first series.

The actor spoke to Kate Thornton on the White Wine Question Time podcast, also revealing how she landed the role on the show because she hit it off with creator Jason Sudeikis straight away, and talking about how she juggles her work with being a single mother.

WATCH: Hannah Waddingham on singing "Let It Go"

She had undergone a medical for the ITV show Benidorm, and received the results in a letter. She also went on to explain how having a child has changed her approach to working, and that she had a conversation with her agents about stepping back from work that might take her abroad.

She said: "I got a letter back saying, blood type this blah, blah, fertility, low, dah, dah, dah. I was just told that it might be unlikely for me to conceive. 

"So then when I did, she knows she's a precious little thing that was meant to come to me. And I thought: 'Okay, I need to I need to be with this little precious love that's been given to me. And so I'm really mindful, always and so appreciative that the door for screen work swung open to me when it did. 

Benidorm faces the axe after 10 years as viewers lose interest in the ITV comedy
Hannah Waddingham and the cast of Benidorm (ITV)

"You know, just before I was doing Kiss me Kate at the Old Vic. And then I had [Benidorm creator] Derren Litten asked me to come on board for Benidorm. I have to kind of credit Derren as well for for letting me into comedy. 

Listen to the full episode to hear Hannah Waddingham talk about asking the universe for the Ted Lasso role and thinking she had gone to the wrong Game of Thrones audition

"And it was after that, during Benidorm, I got that medical thing through and I was on a mission to find a way. I went down the homeopathic route, and that seemed to work."

Waddingham spoke to Thornton about her feelings when she heard she may not be able to have children.

She said: "I was absolutely tunnel vision, couldn't think of anything else. And her dad, at the time, was just like: 'Look, if this isn't for us, it isn't for us.' 

"And I was like: 'No, no, no, there's nothing wrong with me.' He went: 'You know, it doesn't always work like that.' And I was like: 'No, it doesn't work like that that, I'm just saying I'm not ready to give up on this, I need to see what's happening here. 

From left, co-stars Jeremy Swift, Moe Jeudy-Lamour, Hannah Waddingham, Jason Sudeikis, Juno Temple, Cristo Fernendez, Brendan Hunt and Brett Goldstein arrive at the premiere of the second season of
From left Jeremy Swift, Moe Jeudy-Lamour, Hannah Waddingham, Jason Sudeikis, Juno Temple, Cristo Fernendez, Brendan Hunt and Brett Goldstein at the second season premiere of Ted Lasso Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

"Gosh, the blessing that I was one of those women that it did turn around for. Two or three of my girlfriends haven't had that privilege. So I'm acutely aware of the privilege that it is. 

"And at that point, I just thought: 'Right if I can avoid it, if I can avoid being away from her...' One of my favourite things in the whole world is bath books and bed. So that's, that's what I did. 

"And I feel like I've been extended that luxury. And so, you know, all the lovely awards and and being in great shows is totally the icing on the cake for me and something I don't take for granted either. I don't I don't think I would ever get above myself. Because like you said, I've struggled as much as the next person."

Read more: Hannah Waddingham opens up about ‘horrendous’ experience filming Game of Thrones torture scene

She talked in the episode about the move from stage to screen, and how she has often had people high up in shows fighting to get her involved.

Hannah Waddingham in Ted Lasso (Apple TV+)
Hannah Waddingham in Ted Lasso (Apple TV+)

About landing the Benidorm role, she said: "ITV, were going: 'Well she's not famous', and [Derren] was like: 'But I want her'. You just think, well hold on a minute! And I don't find the same problem in America at all. 

"It's like there's been a reluctance to kind of let me in. For a long while, I was thinking: 'Okay, they can't see past the fact that I've done theatre', whereas in America, if you do theatre and certainly musical theatre, they think: 'My god, they're a triple threat!'

Hannah Waddingham  seen at the Olivier Awards 2013 at the Royal opera House in London on Sunday, April 28th, 2013. Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP
Hannah Waddingham at the Olivier Awards 2013. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)

"Well, it's not the same now. I think casting directors here are now far more open to musical theatre people stepping in front of the camera, but certainly back then we're talking eight to 10 years ago. It was absolutely impenetrable."

Watch Ted Lasso Season 2 on Apple TV - get 7 days free, then £4.99 a month.

Buy the soundtrack: Ted Lasso: Season 1 (Apple TV+ Original Series Soundtrack) | £9.99 from Amazon 

WATCH: Hannah Waddingham on Ted Lasso camaraderie, Game of Thrones gossip, and West End wardrobe malfunctions

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