British Icon of the Week: Miriam Margolyes, the Hilarious Actress with Absolutely No Filter
Miriam Margolyes isn't just a BAFTA Award-winning actress known for her roles in the Harry Potter movies, Call the Midwife and Martin Scorsese's The Age of Innocence, she's also a hilariously candid and plain-speaking interviewee who often makes us blush on The Graham Norton Show. As part of Pride Month, here's a reminder of 10 times the British actress – who's also held Australian citizenship since 2013 seeing as her partner Heather Sutherland is Australian – made us gasp, laugh, or a combination of both at the same time.
1. When she was given an ice cream on live TV, and wasn't going to let anyone stop her from enjoying it.
In this hilarious clip, when Philip Schofield, co-host of U.K. daytime show This Morning, says "I have no intention of taking that [ice cream] off you," Margolyes fires back with: "I should bloody hope not!"
2. When she delivered a very tricky tongue twister in the style of Dame Maggie Smith.
To be fair, there's no faulting Margolyes' diction here.
3. And when she revealed she is actually "f–ing scared" of Dame Maggie Smith.
Somehow, the fact that Margolyes shares her fear in a very impressive Scottish accent makes it even funnier.
4. When she described her relationship with men in a way only she could.
"I can like them and have my male friends," Margolyes told The Guardian earlier this year, "but I just don’t feel groin excitement from them."
5. When she admitted she has no time for housework these days.
“I’m lazy to the depths of my being,” she said during a recent BBC radio interview. “I’m an old lady now, and I have to conserve my energy and I am not going to waste my energy on ironing.”
Well, who's going to argue with her? Certainly not us.
6. When she wondered how she ended up starring in 2019's Call the Midwife holiday special.
“I’m a Jewish lesbian who hates Christmas, what am I doing playing a nun in the most-viewed program on British television on Christmas Day?" she told the Radio Times before the episode aired. “Something over six million people watch Call the Midwife – it’s part of people’s Christmas and as I’m in this episode I might have to make it part of mine.”
7. When she revealed she has never seen Friends... while sitting next to Matthew Perry on The Graham Norton Show.
You can never fault her honesty.
8. When she spoke movingly about her relationship with longtime partner Heather Sutherland.
"I was lucky enough to find someone who was prepared to love me," Margolyes recently said of Sutherland, who's been her partner since 1967. "I’m not that lovable – I’m smelly and noisy and all that sort of thing. But she loves me and I want to be with her for the rest of my life, that’s all I want."
9. When she spoke equally movingly about coming out as gay.
During a typically candid 2016 interview, Margolyes revealed that when she came out back in the late '60s, her father made her swear on the bible that she would never sleep with another woman.
Margolyes obliged out of respect to her parents, but knew she would never keep the promise. “The curious thing,” she added, “is that I embraced homosexuality with as much joy and delight as I’ve embraced everything else in my life.”
10. When she got real about her lack of filter.
"I think I'm ruder than most people I know, age immaterial," she told The Telegraph in 2017. "I think it's good to shock – it shakes people up a bit."
Never change, Miriam.
What are your favorite Miriam Margolyes moments?