Phoebe Waller-Bridge mocks Love Island while hosting Saturday Night Live

The British star was fronting the US show fresh from her triumphant night at the Emmy Awards.
The British star was fronting the US show fresh from her triumphant night at the Emmy Awards. The British star was fronting the US show fresh from her triumphant night at the Emmy Awards.

Phoebe Waller-Bridge gave her best impression of an Essex girl for a Love Island sketch during her Saturday Night Live hosting gig.

The Emmy Award-winning creator and star of hit sitcom Fleabag fronted the long-running US sketch show alongside musical guest Taylor Swift.

Waller-Bridge, no stranger to the pressures of live performing thanks to the stage version of Fleabag, opened SNL with a joke-filled monologue, poking fun at fans who assume she shares similarities with her most famous creation.

Both she and Fleabag are “sexually depraved, foul-mouthed and dangerous”, she joked.

“In fact, everything I write has a degree of truth and every project is different,” Waller-Bridge added.

“I’m not a sex addict because I wrote Fleabag – but I did write Killing Eve because I’m a psychopath.”

And referring to Fleabag’s triumphant evening at the biggest night in US TV last month, Waller-Bridge said: “Back in the day, horny women were to be feared – and now they’re given Emmys.”

Waller-Bridge’s monologue was well-received by the audience inside Studio 8H, where SNL has been filmed since its inception in 1975.

In a nod to their British host, the SNL cast members devised a Love Island sketch, with west Londoner Waller-Bridge looking almost unrecognisable beneath a black wig, prosthetic nose and orange tan.

“Just got my lips done – I asked the doctor for an allergic reaction”, she said in her best Essex accent.

After being snubbed by her chosen suitor in the villa, Waller-Bridge, who won Emmys for her comedy writing and acting in Fleabag, commandeered one of Love Island’s best-known phrases and said: “The whole thing’s a bit muggy.”

However, she was celebrating by the end of the sketch when her character discovered how many social media followers she had earned.

Waller-Bridge was joined on the show by musical guest Swift, who performed two songs.

For her first track of the night, the singer, wearing all green, sat at a piano and performed a stripped-down version of Lover, the title track from her most recent album.

The 29-year-old pop superstar returned towards the end of the episode to perform False God, another song from Lover.

And SNL’s cold open – one of the show’s best-known features – poked fun at US President Donald Trump’s impeachment, with Ferris Bueller’s Day Off star Matthew Broderick starring as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Next week, SNL will be hosted by Stranger Things star David Harbour, with musical guest Camila Cabello.