Wednesday, September 21st, 2022

UK National Treasure Miriam Margolyes : the eccentric lesbian actress with the potty mouth


In the UK the larger-than-life octogenarian actress Miriam Margolyes is something of a national treasure.  Her long career ranges from being the most successful voice-over actress (she did animated mops to soft porn) to winning a BAFTA Award for her performance in Martin Scorsese‘s The Age of Innocence .  Hard to believe that this expert on Dickens is also one of the stars of Harry Potter and appeared in Wicked on. Broadway.

In the past few years, she has become one of Graham Norton’s favorite guests on his Award-winning Talk Show. She has a seemingly ceaseless supply of unfiltered outrageous stories which has won her an even bigger fan base (mainly of gay men).  Margolyes is a lesbian a fact which she uses as a source for even more raunchy anecdotes.  It is reported that although she and her long-term partner Australian  History Professor Heather Sunderland date back to 1968, the pair don’t actually live together.



Margolyes was actually a member of Workers Revolutionary Party back in Oxford Uni days and is still very much of a political activist, so it was (yet another) surprise to discover that she only attended her first ever Gay Pride this year.

Another new project is her TV travelogue show “Miriam and Alan Lost In Scotland.”  Alan is the openly gay Scottish actor and wit Alan Cumming.  They may seem an unlikely pairing but within a few minutes of the opening episode, it’s impossible not to be bent over with laughter.

Each of them takes turns picking the itinerary as to where to steer their camper van next.. They crisscross the Scottish highlands and lowlands of their youth to rediscover those places that have a special place in their heart.  Margoyle’s Jewish family lived in the working class Gorbals  area in Glasgow as she says she is after all the ‘tart from the slums”

Cumming is convinced that he is descended from Scottish royalty.  Not just any branch but those that lived at Cawdor Castle (the site of one of Shakespeare’s most famous tragedies).  A highlight is taking Margolyes to the tartan specialists he has invested in. Proudly showing her the “Aliam” color combination he had specially created for their adventures.

The unscripted Margolyes is in her element with her wicked rapid-fire quick wit and its impossible not to fall in love with her even more. She brings out the best in Cumming too, and although some travelogue aficionados will probably hate the whole thing, I’m thrilled its already been given a second Season


Miriam and Alan: Lost in Scotland
can be viewed on demand from Channel 4
in the UK and PBS in US 



Posted by queerguru  at  21:32



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