‘Don’t be a ****’ - Hannah Waddingham’s on-the-nose response to photographer’s sexist ‘show me leg’ comment

Is it 2024, right?

Hannah waddingham
(Image credit: Getty Images / Mike Marsland)

I'm struggling to find a way to start this article, mainly because it's hard to believe what I'm about to write about is still happening – it is 2024, right? But I have to take a moment to appreciate Hannah Waddingham for her no bullshit response to brazen sexist comments while walking the Olivier Awards red carpet last night. 

The actress hosted the London theatre awards, but the ceremony got underway she made her way down the red carpet. A fan captured Hannah on video (below) as she stopped to pose for photographs, before very quickly putting one of the paparazzi firmly in his place. The comment he made is not decipherable in the footage, however what Hannah says is: 

"Oh my god, you would never say that to a man, my friend. Don't be a dick, otherwise I'll move on. Don't say 'show me leg'. No."

Waddingham then storms past him to cheers from onlookers who overheard the encounter. The confrontation appears to continue, with the actress turns, raises her finger and talks more to the photographer in question. 

You can watch the video posted on Twitter in full below (click see more on the tweet).

I don't even know where to start with how we're not past these kind of comments yet. What's even more disappointing is this isn't the first time Waddingham has encountered sexism in the industry. In an interview with Glamour in 2023 she said: “When it comes to dealing with sexism, especially in my industry, I was on the receiving end of it mostly when I was modelling back in my 20s, with some of the nonsense that misogynistic male photographers would throw at me to put me in my place."

Over 20 years later, now aged 49, Waddingham's recent encounter shows how little progress has been made on that front. And have to wonder how many younger actresses would have felt confident enough to make the stand Hannah did. All we can hope is by doing so, she inspires and empowers other women to speak out when facing misogynistic behaviour. 

Hosting the awards, Waddingham had a front-row seat to watch Succession star Sarah Snook and actress/singer Nicole Scherzinger win an award. The former Pussycat Doll won the accolade for Best Actress in a Musical for her portrayal of Norma Desmond in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Broadway-bound Sunset Boulevard. Snook took the big win for Best Actress for her performance in the Sydney Theatre Company’s version of Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray.

As well as hosting, Waddingham opened the event performing with singer and pianist Joe Stilgoe. This is the second year in a row Hannah has hosted the prestigious awards. 

This definitely won't be the last red carpet we see Waddingham on this year, with her due to appear on the big screen in movies The Fall Guy and Mission Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part 2. But we sincerely hope it's the last time she has to deal with sexism while doing so. 

Kerrie Hughes

Kerrie is the editor of woman&home (digital). For seven years previously she was editor of Future’s world-leading design title Creative Bloq, and has written for titles including T3, Coach and Fit&Well on a wide range of lifestyle topics.


After a decade of working in retail, Kerrie went back to education at the ripe old age of 27, graduating with a first-class honours degree in creative writing three years later. Her career in journalism began soon after, when she secured a job as a staff writer at Future Plc. In the 14 years since, she has worked her way up to editor level, gaining a wealth of digital experience along the way.

As a woman&home reader and a senior digital editor, Kerrie’s main purpose is to ensure the brand delivers high-quality, relevant content to help enrich and improve women’s lives – a responsibility she feels hugely passionate about.  

Outside of work, if she manages to find a spare minute around her three young children, geriatric dog and activity-obsessed fiance, you’ll find her either throwing a barbell about at Crossfit, with her head in a good thriller novel or building one of the latest Lego ideas sets.