Miriam rose to stardom after winning a BAFTA for best supporting actress for her role in The Age of Innocence (1993). However, Miriam is best known for her role in the Harry Potter series as Professor Sprout and more recently as Mother Mildred in the BBC’s Call the Midwife. Miriam has now captured the hearts of the next generation with her hit BBC documentaries and viral television interview appearances. So, here is a compilation of reasons to demonstrate exactly why Miriam Margolyes remains one of the most extraordinary women on television.
In the 21st century people are often scared to speak up and voice their opinion for fear of judgement. Nevertheless, this feisty 78-year-old woman is renowned for not mincing her words. For too long we have lived in a culture in which women are taught how to act like ‘ladies’, therefore they are trained not to speak about politics, sex or religion. However, Miriam farts, swears and tells crude stories on national television and does not apologise for doing so. Miriam proves that an actress can be unrefined, opinionated and successful all at the same time.
In numerous television interviews Miriam has openly addressed the struggles facing the LGBTQ+ community, the elderly and disabled. During an interview on The Last Leg Miriam discussed the Tory government cutting disability funds as she exclaimed, “I hate that they blame poor people!”. During the filming of the BBC docuseries, The Real Marigold Hotel, Miriam addressed the treatment of the elderly in which she stated, “Old people are invisible in the UK”. Furthermore, Miriam’s recent interview discussing obesity on This Morning has already had 463,000 views in just three days. Miriam’s words have informed millions of people around the world about the struggles of marginalised communities and the world will be better off because of it.
Humour is subjective and many people would not find Miriam’s coarse stories funny, yet Miriam’s tales on The Graham Norton Show have been watched by millions on YouTube around the world. Miriam tells some weird and wonderful stories such as when she farted in a queue waiting to meet Dolly Parton, when she gave a helping hand to a soldier hiding in a tree or when she streaked on an airplane from economy to first class. What makes Miriam’s stories so brilliant is that they are told by a lovable 78-year-old woman in received pronunciation.
We are living during a time of gender inequality. All you have to do is look at everyday sexism, the gender pay gap or the Me-Too movement to realise this. We have come a long way since securing the right to vote, although we have not come far enough. Therefore, it is vital that we see confident women on our TV screens. Young girls need to see an example of what independent, successful and authoritative women look like. In Miriam’s new BBC documentary, Miriam’s Big Fat Adventure, Miriam stated “This is me. If you don’t like it, tough sh*t”. I truly believe that this is the kind of philosophy we should all live by and that is why she is one of the best actresses on British television.